Date set for shareholder vote on Heineken bid

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

A date has been set for Punch shareholders to vote on Heineken bid
A date has been set for Punch shareholders to vote on Heineken bid

Related tags Public house Scotland

Punch shareholders will meet next month to vote on the proposed takeover bid by Heineken.

The meeting is set to take place on Friday 10 February with the Dutch brand and investment company, Patron Capital, whose bid vehicle is called Vine Acquisitions.

A Heineken spokesperson told The Morning Advertiser​: "Our acquisition of pubs from Punch is dependent on its shareholders approving the offer that was made by Vine acquisitions on 15 December 2017.

“The EGM is, therefore, an important stage in that process. The offer will also require the subsequent approval by the UK competition regulators."

A spokesperson from Punch was not available to comment.

Move to calm fears

Last week, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) claimed Heineken was trying to “dismiss concerns”​ regarding the ongoing bid between the two pub companies.

In an article in The Scotsman​, Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens addressed the SLTA’s concerns that claimed the purchase would result in a “backwards move”.

Mountstevens claimed, if the deal was approved, the Dutch company would only represent 6% of Scottish pubs.

He said at the time: “Rather than ‘destabilise our fragile industry’, we hope to bring our passion, expertise and successful operating model to more Scottish pubs.”

According to the newspaper, Mountstevens also claimed Heineken was “proud” to contribute approximately £370m to Scotland’s economy.

He added: “We have consistently said that we start with what is right for each pub, and we will work with licensees to ensure they have the right drinks offer to suit the specific needs of each pub.”

Global brewer criticised

However, SLTA chief executive Paul Waterson hit back at Mountstevens: “Don’t be fooled. This is actually a 200% growth compared to its current position and a worrying indication of what’s to come.”

Waterson also criticised the global brewer for its “little regard for local relationships” in smaller pubs.

He added: “In this fragile industry, those local relationships in smaller pubs matter. They can be the difference between a licensed premises staying open or shutting up shop.”

He also claimed Heineken would place “barriers” in the way of other suppliers by imposing 85% of its products on Punch pubs, leaving “little room” for other breweries and this, as a result, would have a “disastrous effect” on consumer choice. 

Related topics Punch Pubs & Co

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