Pub operator Greene King has received a provisional thumbs up for its £725m takeover of the Spirit Pub Company. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that Greene King has agreed to sell 16 of their pubs to allay competition concerns.
Earlier this month, the CMA said it would have to carry out an in-depth investigation if Greene King did not come up with an acceptable solution to address the concerns about a loss of competition in 16 local areas. The CMA’s original investigation found that “the parties’ pubs were in close proximity, were each other’s key rivals and did not face sufficient competition from other outlets”.
Of the 16 pubs to be sold, nine belong to Green King and the other seven to Spirit Pubs. Of these pubs, six are tenanted or leased and ten are managed.
The CMA has said that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing that Greene King’s proposals may be accepted and it now has until 21st July to decide whether to accept the undertakings or a modified version of them.
Rooney Anand, Chief Executive Officer at Greene King said, “This is a great result. The CMA confirmed that only a small number of pubs will have to be sold in order for us to complete the acquisition of Spirit, which means that both the profit impact and business disruption are minimised. We believe this outcome is fair and sensible.”