Anglo Irish Bank (AIB) looks set to suffer a £33m shortfall in respect of its loans to the 253-strong Pubfolio and Goldtry estate of pubs that went into administration in October last year, writes Paul Charity. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) states that AIB is owed around £67m but the pub estate is only expected to realise £34m. The estate originally had around 700 pubs soon after it was set up in 2004. “The company initially generated significant returns on disposals,” administrators David Chubb and Robert Hunt, of PwC, state. “However, from mid-2007 they began to experience increasingly difficult trading conditions. “This was primarily a result of the general economic climate at the time, which triggered a downturn in the property market and resulted in prospective purchasers struggling to obtain finance. “In addition, the pub sector was suffering from a number of other factors including the smoking ban, minimum wage increases, increased beer and spirit duties and stronger competition from the supermarkets. “These factors combined to reduce the companies rental income from their pub portfolios whilst increasing their holding costs as a consequence of an increase in closed pubs. “The cash impact of these circumstances led to the companies having a portfolio which included many poorly trading and underinvested pubs, with many having received no more than essential maintenance since acquisition, and the companies strugglng to service debt interest payments to AIB.” PwC states that the strategy for the disposal of the pubs is still under consideration. There are “no immediate plans to dispose of the pubs” although offers will be considered on a site-by-site basis. Anyone interested in a particular site should e-mail Amy Chismon at The 253 Pubfolio and Goldtry pubs are currently being operated by Ted Kennedy, who is also overseeing management of the GRS Inns pubs that were part of London Town and the Inndeed Group. Pubfolio was founded by coat hangar magnate Peter Shalson - his biggest acquisition was 545 pubs from Punch Taverns for £162.5m. The total estate cost around £250m to acquire.