UK: Competition regulator opens probe into Heineken’s Punch Takeover

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority on Thursday opened an investigation into the proposed takeover of pub operator Punch Taverns by Dutch brewer Heineken and private equity house Patron Capital Partners.

The GBP402.7 million acqisition of Punch was sealed earlier this month. When the deal completes, Punch will be split in two. Heineken will acquire Punch A, with Patron holding on to Punch B.

The deal will make Heineken, which already owns the Star Pubs & Bars business in the UK, one of the biggest pub owners in the UK, and concerns have been raised about the terms by which it will make the pubs under its ownership sell its own beer rather than drinks made by competitors.

After the deal, Heineken would be the third-largest UK pub operator by number of sites, behind Greene King and Ei Group, the recently renamed Enterprise Inns.

Full Content: Financial Times

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