UK: Heineken disposes of 150 pubs as going concerns

Heineken will dispose of 150 pubs across the United Kingdom worth around GBP 60 million (USD 75m), the brewer announced last week. "We are in the process of marketing a small number of pubs for sale,” a spokesman of Heineken’s UK pub division, Star Pubs & Bars said. "We have consistently said that we regularly review our estate, and with the growth of any pub estate there is also ongoing optimisation which includes some disposals."

Since purchasing 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns in 20017 (, 5.1.2017), Heineken operates the UK’s third largest pub business after Greene King and Enterprise Inns.

The company said, the pubs on sale were located all across the UK. However, Heineken did not want disclose at this stage the names and locations of the pubs concerned but it stressed the fact that the pubs will be sold as going concerns to third parties rather than being closed.

In April, Heineken said it would invest a record sum of GBP 50 million (USD 62.6m) to refurbish nearly 150 pubs across the UK, creating an estimated 1,200 hospitality jobs.

Besides a major refurbishment of restaurants, gardens, bars, kitchens and toilets, every pub will benefit from Smart Dispense - a state of the art, environmentally friendly cellar dispense technology. Heineken developed Smart Dispense a couple of years ago in order to save energy and water for every pint of beer and cider served. The new technology reduces or removes the need for cellar cooling by chilling the beer as it leaves the keg, rather than chilling the surrounding environment. This saves up to 90% of the energy. Given that Heineken includes professional line cleaning as part of the service offered with the system, it takes the responsibility away from the landlord altogether and it reduces the need to clean beer lines from once a week to once every four weeks. This saves the average pub in addition around 12,000 pints of water, 90 pints of cleaning chemical and GBP 2,300 (USD 2,900) of product waste every year, according to Heineken.

Heineken UK or Star Pubs & Bars,respectively, invested consistently in refurbishing its pub business in recent years. In 2017 the company invested GBP 20 million (USD 26.6) and in 2018 it said to invest GBP 44 million (USD 58.4m) (, 19.6.2018).

“We believe in the Great British pub. We’ve invested just shy of GBP 200m [USD 250m] in the last six years into hundreds of our Star Pubs & Bars businesses – all with bespoke refurbishments that respect the heritage of the buildings, keep the soul of the pub, and give a fresh and welcoming look for its locals,” David Forde, Managing Director, Heineken UK said in April.

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