CMA extends investigation into Punch-Heineken deal

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Takeover: the CMA will now take evidence until the final week of May
Takeover: the CMA will now take evidence until the final week of May

Related tags: Public house, United kingdom, English-language films

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has extended its investigation into Heineken’s bid to take over 1,900 Punch pubs.

The investigation has been extended by five weeks to 29 May after the regulatory body previously ‘stopped the clock’ to gather more background information.

CMA inquiries centre on pubco Star Pubs & Bars, the tenanted arm of Heineken, which currently operates 1,100 pubs in the UK. Heineken’s proposed takeover, backed by investment firm Patron Capital, would boost the number of sites operated by the pubco to 3,000 pubs, making Star the UK’s third biggest pub operator.

Punch shareholders voted​ in favour of the deal in February and the CMA immediately​ confirmed that it would need to examine the potential impact of the takeover on competition and consumer choice before it could progress. At the time, Heineken called the move “important and fully expected”.

Commenting on why it had ‘stopped the clock’ earlier in the process, the CMA said it was a “routine” step that is taken to gather more background information on complex cases.

CMA has now reopened its calls for evidence for SIBA members only. They have been asked to submit their views to ynffr.ohezrfgre@pzn.tfv.tbi.hx​ by 24 April.

The CMA will decide whether or not to refer the case to a phase 2 investigation after the 29 May deadline. 

Punch said it anticipates the deal will go through before the end of August of this year.

Related topics: Punch Pubs & Co

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