Peter Hansen, of Sapient Corporate Finance has predicted further activity in the tenanted pub market following Punch’s disposal of 158 pubs.

Sapient advised Punch on the sale of the portfolio to NewRiver for £53.5m – the highest price since e207 for non-core tenanted pubs.

The pubs sold for an average price of £340,000 or 7.3x pub EBIT of £7.3 million.

The sale is the 27th transaction in which Sapient has advised Punch since 2002, with total consideration of £2.7 billion.

Hansen said: “Prices for tenanted pubs are rising, driven in part by new entrants attracted to the higher yields that pubs generate compared to other property assets. We expect further activity in light of the MRO legislation.”

Punch chief financial officer Steve Dando said: “We have a long, successful advisory relationship with Sapient, and are very pleased to have completed this latest disposal. Based upon their knowledge of the buyers and the market, Sapient was instrumental in the selection of pubs to sell, which led to significant interest and a robust auction.”