Heineken has welcomed the completion of its acquisition of 1,900 Punch pubs.

The package is part of its joint deal with Patron Capital under the banner of Vine Acquisitions to take on the 3,200-strong Punch estate.

The pubs will be operated by Punch for six months under a transitional arrangement before being integrated into Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars estate.

The deal will make Heineken the third largest pubco in the UK.

Stefan Orlowski, regional president Europe for Heineken said: “Investing to grow our UK pub portfolio through this acquisition will enable us to unlock further value in the UK pub market. The performance of our Star Pubs & Bars business clearly shows that well invested pubs, in the hands of skilled and ambitious independent operators can outperform and we will seek to replicate that success with these new pubs in partnership with their licensees.”

David Forde, UK managing director of Heineken said: “This is good news for pub-goers across the UK who will see the benefit of well-invested pubs in their communities. We welcome the new licensees to Star Pubs and Bars, and look forward to working with them to grow their businesses and create successful pubs in the heart of communities across the UK.”

Speaking on Friday, Keith Breslauer, managing director of Patron Capital, said: “Completing this complex deal paves the way for an exciting future for Punch as a more focused business. This is a company that has undergone a number of challenges and distractions in recent years but has a portfolio of high quality pubs with excellent future potential.

“We are experienced investors in the leisure and hospitality sector, having invested in and grown a range of businesses including Generator, the Spencer Hotel in Dublin and Jupiter Hotels. Under private ownership, with strong financial backing and our commitment to continued investment, Punch’s pubs and publicans will have our full support to deal with changing market dynamics and provide their customers with the best possible offer.”

Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Punch, said at the time: “This has been a long road and we are delighted that we are now able to move forward with clarity. I am proud of the professionalism of the Punch employees during this period of uncertainty, and remain sure of their ongoing commitment as we look to an exciting future under new ownership.”