Deal to create UK's largest pub company cleared to go ahead

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stonegate and Ei pub merger deal cleared to go ahead

Related tags: Pub

The owner of the Slug & Lettuce bar chain has been given the green light to merge with Ei Group in a move that will create the UK’s largest pub company.

Last year the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns that Stonegate Pub Company’s c.£1.3m acquisition of Ei would limit competition in 51 areas and could lead to higher prices for consumers.

But the CMA says it has accepted Stonegate’s undertaking over its concerns, which called for the sale of 42 pubs.

The combined company will operate almost 5,000 bars and pubs, including Stonegate’s Walkabout and Yates brands.

Ei oversees a portfolio of 4,000 pubs mostly run in partnership with small operators and landlords.

The CMA has the power to block deals if it believes consumers will have less choice. Last year it launched a formal investigation in to Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo in December.

Related topics: Business

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