Pub companies: follow-up - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents


Memorandum submitted by Joseph Holt Ltd

REVIEW OF THE COMPETITION RULES APPLICABLE TO VERTICAL AGREEMENTS:

  We wanted to write to you as Chairman of the Business and Enterprise Select Committee to voice our support for the beer tie. We are a privately owned regional brewery operating in the Manchester area and own 130 pubs of which 30 are run as traditional tenancies. It is our intention, within the next year, to increase this number to 45 tenancies as we convert more pubs from management. We feel it is vital for the tie to operate within the block exemption because:

    — This allows us to have a route to market for our specialist cask beers, our seven bottled ale products and our excellent lagers and smooth beers, all of which we produce here at the brewery. This gives the consumer the opportunity to drink our beers through our 130 pubs and allows us to then sell our beers into the free trade and nationally within supermarkets. As a family brewer this allows us to compete against the national brewers and therefore gives the consumer greater choice. — The traditional style tenancy we operate provides a low cost of entry for our tenants enabling them to operate as self-employed business people using their entrepreneurial skills. We provide considerable support to our tenants both through the help and advice of our company management structure and through the repairs we undertake to those pubs. In essence the traditional brewery tenancy allows our tenants to operate under a fair business arrangement and benefit from a vertically integrated structure. It is as much in our interest for them to succeed as it is in theirs.

    — We, as a company, both at the brewery and in our pubs, employ 421 full time and 916 part time staff. In addition to this our tenants employ a number of staff in each of our 30 tenancies. This employment provides vital support for the area.

  We, as a business, operated as a public company for 49 years until 2000 when we took the bold step of taking the business private. Part of our logic for this was secure in the knowledge we would operate our pubs under the tie. Whilst, therefore, the continuation of the tie under the block exemption is vital to the company, it also provides huge benefits for our tenants, the consumer and the community at large.

  We therefore feel it is in all parties' interest to support the continuation of the tie under the block exemption.

18 November 2009






 
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