CMA clears Carlsberg, Marston’s joint venture

Carlsberg Danish Pilsner

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the proposed joint venture between Carlsberg UK and independent brewing and pub retailing business Marston’s.

The regulator said the merger won’t affect the access of independent brewers to pubs since Marston’s pubs form only a small part of the potential UK customer base for brewers.

Considering the wholesale services that both companies provide, the CMA found brewers will continue to have sufficient alternative wholesalers to choose from after the merger.

The CMA launched the inquiry into the deal in August following a referral by the European Commission.

The two companies announced the deal in May, creating the new Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company which boats a portfolio of international, national and regional beer brands, with Carlsberg famous for iconic lager and world beer brands, and Marston’s, for its premium cask and packaged ales, including Hobgoblin, Wainwright, Marston’s Pedigree and 61 Deep.

The CMA also noted that the competition between the two businesses is generally limited at present, with Carlsberg largely focusing on the production of lager and Marston’s focusing on ale.