June 13 Britain's competition regulator said
Heineken's proposed takeover of Punch Taverns
would face an in-depth investigation unless the Dutch brewer
offers to address competition concerns around 33 pubs.
Heineken and investment partner Patron Capital struck a 403
million pound ($500 million) deal December to buy and break up
Punch Taverns, paving the way for Heineken to become Britain's
third-biggest pubs group.
Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it
has looked at areas where pubs operated by Heineken and Punch
currently compete and identified 33 locations where their pubs
would not face sufficient competition after the merger, which
could lead to price rises and poorer customer service.
CMA said Heineken has until June 20 to offer proposals to
address the concerns or face an in-depth investigation into the
Punch, in a separate statement, said that both companies are
now putting together a plan to the regulator to address the
points raised and are confident that the deal would be approved
without an investigation.
(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)