Heineken has offered to sell pubs in 33 areas across the UK in a bid to get the green light from competition authorities for its takeover of part of Punch Taverns.
Earlier this month the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) told the Dutch brewer it was concerned the move to acquire roughly 1,900 sites from Punch would mean there was not sufficient competition in the 33 areas identified and that it could lead to price increases or a deterioration in the quality of service on offer.
Heineken has offered to sell pubs in the affected areas in a bid to avoid a more in-depth investigation by the CMA, which could last up to six months.
The competition watchdog now has until August 22 to decide whether it is satisfied with the offer from Heineken, although its initial reaction appeared to be favorable.
“The CMA has decided that there are reasonable grounds for believing that these proposals, or a modified version of them, might be acceptable to remedy the competition concerns it has identified,” it said.
The CMA has the power to extend the deadline to October 17, if it feels it needs to give the proposal extra scrutiny.
Full Content: Financial Times