Trade and Industry Press Notice PN 24

TRADE AND INDUSTRY COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE OFFICE     HOUSE OF COMMONS    7 MILLBANK     LONDON SW1P 3JA

Telephone: 020 7219 5777/5779

PN 24 of Session 2003-04

PRESS NOTICE

NEW INQUIRY

Inquiry into Pubcos

Two decades after the Beer Orders were introduced to limit the power of big breweries fears have been expressed amongst the public house community that the UK licensed trade is now being dominated by pub companies or 'pubcos'.

The Trade and Industry Committee intends to conduct an inquiry into the relationship between pubcos and their tenants. During the course of its inquiry the Committee will consider issues such as:

• The exclusive purchasing obligations (beer tie) enforced by pubcos on their tenants;

• The link between the wholesale beer prices charged by pubcos and the rents they charge their tenants;

• Pubcos margins with regard to the prices paid by pubcos to breweries and those they charge to their tenants;

• The difference in the beer price that pubcos charge their tenants and the free market price; and

•  The basis on which pubcos' tenants rents are set and increased and their impact on struggling tenants.

The Committee would welcome written evidence on these or any other related issues by Wednesday 2 June 2004.  Details of any oral evidence will be announced shortly after that date.

Written evidence

If possible, written evidence should take the form of a memorandum with numbered paragraphs and should be submitted, as a MS Word document, by e-mail to [email protected] with a single hard copy sent to the Clerk at the address above.

For further information please contact the Committee Office on 020 7219 5777/ 5779.

6 May 2004

ENDS