Brewery and pub chain Greene King is poised to be sold to Hong Kong’s richest family CK Asset Holdings.
The Asian property giant has had an offer of £2.7bn provisionally accepted for the Suffolk-based brewery, taking on its debt of £1.9bn. The deal equates to £1m for each of the group’s 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels. The Greene King board has recommended approval of the deal to its shareholders.
News of the proposed deal has raised concern for the future of the business. National chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale Nik Antona said: “The news that Britain’s largest pub and brewery company has been sold to an international asset company is very concerning for our beer scene.
“We are always wary of one company controlling a large share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers. Greene King has been in operation for over 200 years and it is a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing and pub business.
“We hope that Greene King will continue its operations as normal without any disappointing changes. We will be calling on the new owners to retain the current pub portfolio to safeguard thousands of pubs and jobs across the country.”