Heineken has offered to sell pubs in 33 areas across the UK in the hope that the competition authorities will allow its £305m takeover of Punch Taverns to go ahead.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the Dutch company’s purchase of the pub operator could reduce pub competition in 33 areas and raise alcohol prices.
As part of an initial investigation, the CMA looked at areas where pubs operated by Heineken and Punch currently compete. It identified locations where their pubs would not face sufficient competition after the merger, which could lead to a deterioration in the quality of the service on offer.
Before the merger was referred for a further in-depth investigation, the companies were given the opportunity to address these concerns.
The CMA has until 22 August to review Heineken’s proposal. As part of the process, it will undertake a public consultation.
The original Punch Taverns deal would have seen around 1,900 pubs join Heineken’s pub business Star Pubs & Bars, making it the third largest pub operator in the UK.
Earlier this month, Heineken said it was confident that after making the necessary changes to the deal, the acquisition would be approved by the CMA.
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