The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) preliminary investigation concluded that Heineken’s purchase of Punch Taverns would not damage the chances of Heineken’s competitors selling their own products, as the pubs being bought only make up 4% of the market.
However, the CMA had said there were 33 areas where pubs would not face sufficient competition if the deal went ahead.
But following the brewer’s offer to sell pubs in the affected areas the CMA said it was satisfied its concerns had been addressed. Heineken will buy 1,895 Punch pubs.
Private equity firm Patron Capital will buy the remaining 1,329 pubs in the Punch estate.
“Heineken has offered to sell pubs in each of the affected areas to preserve competition and ensure customers in these locations do not lose out,” the CMA said in a statement.
“Before reaching a final decision, the CMA carefully assessed and consulted publicly on these proposed undertakings. The CMA is satisfied that its concerns have been addressed and has therefore decided that the merger will not be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation,” the regulator added.
Full Content: Financial Times