The Competition and Markets Authority has extended the preliminary assessment period for its investigation into Heineken’s proposed acquisition of half of Punch’s estate.
The CMA announced this week that Heineken had failed to issue certain documents by the deadline of 19 April and that therefore for the assessment period had been extended until Heineken was able to provide the information.
It had already revised the deadline for phase one of the investigation from 24 April to 29 May.
The phase one investigation is designed to “assess whether the deal could reduce competition and choice for customers”.
If it finds this to be the case, the CMA would launch an in-depth merger investigation, which can last up to 24 weeks, unless undertakings are offered that satisfactorily address concerns.
Heineken’s joint bid for the 3,200-strong Punch estate with patron Capital, would see it eventually take on the 1,900 pubs with the Punch A group with Patron keeping the remaining sites in Punch B.