Heineken's (HEINY) plan to acquire almost 2,000 pubs from Punch Taverns may have run into a problem as the U.K. competition watchdog has raised concerns about the £403 million deal. The Dutch beer maker has until June 20 to submit proposals to address the concerns. The Competition & Markets Authority believes the deal would reduce competition in 33 areas int he U.K.
"We have listened very carefully to a range of concerns about this merger. The companies will own less than 10% of all British pubs after any deal, but we are concerned about the loss of competition for pub goers in a number of local areas," said CMA Acting Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli.
Heineken said Tuesday morning its intends to offer acceptable undertakings and is confident these will enable the transaction to be approved without an in-depth investigation.
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