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Heineken offers to sell pubs to push through Punch Taverns takeover

Published 28 June 2017

Heineken has offered to sell some of its pubs after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns about its acquisition of Punch Taverns.

Earlier this month, the CMA stated that the Heineken’s acquisition of Punch Taverns estate could reduce competition, especially in 33 local areas across the country.

Before the merger was put up for an in-depth investigation, the CMA had given an opportunity to the Dutch brewing company to come up with proposals to address the concerns raised over the merger.

Now, Heineken has come up with proposal to sell those pubs in each of the affected areas to preserve competition and to ensure that other players and customers in those regions do not lose.

The CMA stated that there are reasonable grounds for believing that these proposals, or a modified version of them, might be acceptable to remedy the competition concerns it has identified.

Heineken said: “We welcome confirmation from the CMA that only a small number of pubs are required to be sold.

“It’s a sensible outcome and good news for pub-goers across the UK who will see the benefit of well invested pubs in their communities.”

The CMA has time till August 22 to consider whether to completely accept the proposals, or it might extend the deadline till October, if there are other concerns that might need to be addressed.

Heineken’s proposal for the acquisition was accepted by Punch Taverns shareholders back in February this year.

After the completion of merger, Heineken could own less than 10% of all the British pubs, but the regulatory authority and pub-owners in the country have raised concerns over the proposed merger.

Image: CMA to consider Heineken’s proposals on Punch merger. Photo: Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.