Monday, 4 February 2008

Punch bid for stricken M&B

In what might be seen as an opportunistic bid, Punch Taverns have proposed a 50/50 merger with M&B, still reeling from the losses I reported on last week. This revives news I first reported on in November here, where you can read my views.

Is it really in anyone's interest for one pub company to own 10,000 pubs? For most of us, not involved in financial speculation, a resounding "no" is the answer. Given Punch's lack of support for small brewers, expect choice to contract in the (unlikely) event that this bid succeeds.

Of course this will have to be financed. Who'll pay for it? At least in part, we the drinker will.

If you want to read more about the shenanigans that got M&B into this sorry state, this is good!


Alex said...

Not good, but not surprising either. Pubcos are cannibalistic by nature. The Beer Orders were't considered relevant and were allowed to lapse. And yet here we are facing the prospect of market dominance by one company. Where's the so-called nanny-state when you need it?

Paul Garrard said...

Ultimately those that own the means of distribution control the market. Whilst the S&N thing was no big deal this one is. One hopes the MMC will intervene.

Stonch said...

Of course this will have to be financed. Who'll pay for it?

Mostly investment banks, I'd imagine. Of course the debt service will be a burden for the combined operation which will need to be paid for out of operating profits, so yes I suppose the customer will pay.