QVT Financial, the US hedge-fund, has reduced its stake in Punch Taverns. The investor now holds 21,195,213 shares, worth £121.87 million – a cut of 0.84% on its recent 8.8% share. QVT, led by Lars Bader, was opposed to a proposed £11bn merger of Punch with Mitchells & Butlers, put forward by Punch following the launch of a strategic review at M&B. Bader said that the only shareholders who would consider the merger were those that were investors in both companies, and that the deal held no logic for shareholders only invested in Punch. Bader said that the synergies available – thought to be at least £50m – were not enough to justify the transaction. Punch has also seen its share price fall by almost two thirds in the past year from a high of 1401p to a recent low of 501p. It enjoyed a brief high when Enterprise Inns was granted approval to convert to a reit.