Greene King, which employs around 38,000 people across 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels, said Monday it has agreed to be bought by CK Asset Holdings (CKA) for £2.7bn.
Unite has more than 250 members working at Greene King’s brewery, Suffolk headquarters and distribution centres and is seeking a meeting with the company to gain “a better understanding of the future business strategy”.
“This is a major takeover of a well-known British company with a long history in brewing and pub ownership built up over 220 years,” says Mark Jaina, Unite regional officer. “It could have major ramifications for this sector, given the magnitude of the takeover.
“Our first priority is to seek reassurances for our members on future job security, and pay and employment conditions.”
It is the second time this year a British brewer has been acquired by an Asia-based buyer following the sale of Fuller’s to Japanese drinks giant Asahi in July.
Nik Antona, national chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale, says the Greene King deal is “very concerning” for Britain’s beer industry.
"We are always wary of one company controlling a large share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers,” says Antona.
“Greene King has been in operation for over 200 years and it is a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing and pub business.
"We hope that Greene King will continue its operations as normal without any disappointing changes. We will be calling on the new owners to retain the current pub portfolio to safeguard thousands of pubs and jobs across the country."
Greene King says the deal will ensure its "future success for employees, partners, customers and suppliers".
The comany's brands include seafood restaurant chain Loch Fyne, and the Hungry Horse and Chef & Brewer pubs.