Giles Thorley has told M&C Report there is no first-mover advantage for any company in the sector that converts to a Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit). The chief executive of Punch Taverns insisted his company would wait and watch events unfold at rival Enterprise Inns, which is in protracted discussions with HM Revenues & Customs to determine whether it should qualify for Reit status. Analysts now believe there is a good chance that Enterprise will be successful in its arguments. Thorley told M&C: “I’m really pleased that Ted (Tuppen, Enterprise CEO) is going to do it because I can sit back and watch what happens and see how it trades. There is no first-mover advantage here.” The Punch CEO intimated that conversion could prove a zero-sum game as the benefit of the tax saving could be offset by the discounts currently being applied to the Reits already trading on the stock market. Thorley said: “I’m completely open-minded about Reits – I used to run Reits in the States before I became involved in pubs.” Enterprise and its legal advisers at CMS Cameron McKenna argue it should qualify for Reit status, a process that would vastly reduce the amount of corporation tax it pays. It is thought that if given the green light, Enterprise plans to create a three-company structure – at one end would be the propco (the Reit), which would own all the property and pay no corporation tax. At the other end would be the opco - a management company running the leased estate. Separating the two companies would be a midco, which would receive income from the opco and pay rent to the propco. To qualify for Reit status, companies must derive 75% of their revenues from rent.