Heineken: ‘we will find buyers for 30 pubs’ as part of Punch deal

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Committed: Heineken has six months to find "viable buyers" for 30 of the pubs it intends to sell as part of Punch deal
Committed: Heineken has six months to find "viable buyers" for 30 of the pubs it intends to sell as part of Punch deal

Related tags Punch taverns

Heineken has committed to find “viable buyers” for the 30 pubs it proposes to sell as part of its deal to purchase 1,900 Punch pubs, The Morning Advertiser has learned.

On Friday (August 18) the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) accepted proposals from Heineken​ to sell 30 of its pubs to address its concerns that the deal would undermine competition in certain areas. 

Half of these pubs are Star Pubs & Bars sites and the other half are Punch pubs.

A spokesman for Heineken told the MA: “Once legal completion of the deal has taken place - we have committed to CMA that we will find viable buyers for the 30 pubs within six months of today (August 18).

“We have also agreed that this will be to no more than four purchasers.”

Future concerns

Speaking to the MA​ before the CMA’s announcement, a number of pubs on the list said they had “received no information” since being told they were to be sold, and felt like they had been “left in the dark”.

Publicans that the MA spoke to said they were “worried about their, and their staff’s, future”, and feel like more could have been done in terms of support and communication.

One publican, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We are very, very, disappointed that we are leaving Punch, and we are very disappointed that we have not been kept in the loop and not told what’s been going on.

“We are now considering retiring – this not knowing anything, we can’t be doing with it.”

A spokesman, commenting on behalf of both Punch and Heineken, said: "We understand that there has been a period of uncertainty while the CMA completed its investigation.

“Unfortunately, until the acquisition of Punch Taverns PLC has legally completed, there is very little any of the parties can add, other than to confirm that the CMA requires Heineken to sell the 30 pubs to address competition concerns.
"That said, we would both like to reassure the pubs affected that we will share as much information as possible, and support them through the sales process as soon as the legal processes have been completed. This is expected to be by the end of August."

Punch said it aims to complete the acquisition by Tuesday 29 August.

Related topics Punch Pubs & Co

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