Government to decide future of Bass Brewers

Related tags Bass brewers Interbrew Patricia hewitt Bass brewery

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a consultation on four options for the future of Bass Brewers, two of which would see it broken up.The...

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a consultation on four options for the future of Bass Brewers, two of which would see it broken up.

The government wants to come up with ways of solving the competition issues raised by Interbrew's acquisition of both Bass Brewers and Whitbread Beer Company (WBC).

The four options the OFT has named are:

  • the Bass Brewers remedy - the sale of Bass Brewers
  • the Carling remedy - the sale of the Carling brand and selected parts of Bass Brewers
  • the International Brewer remedy - the sale of the majority of Bass Brewers, excluding Carling, Bass Ale and some minor brands
  • the WBC remedy - the sale of WBC.

Bass Brewers managing director Jerry Fowden said: "The Carling and International Brewer remedies would be our preferred options and of the two we would prefer the International Brewers remedy."

He added that he believed this solution would result in the most competitive and stable market for the UK.

The High Court ruled last month that trade secretary Patricia Hewitt must reconsider the Government's decision to order Interbrew to sell the whole of Bass Brewers.

Carlsberg-Tetley has indicated that it is interested in a deal, which could be buying Bass or WBC, and South African Breweries and Heineken have also expressed an interest.

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