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Heineken Snags 1,900 UK Pubs In $378M Deal

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Heineken struck a deal Thursday that almost triples its UK pub portfolio, showing confidence in the British market while others pull away.

The Dutch-beer behemoth agreed to shell out about $378M for 1,900 Punch Taverns, greatly increasing the number of UK pubs it owns from its current 1,049 and turning Heineken into the third-largest pub operator in the country. The company says owning pubs has helped it reach consumers directly while making it easier to test new drafts, and with control over more pubs, Heineken can better showcase its own brands, such as Amstel and Strongbow, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

In addition, Heineken is also taking on about $1.2B of assumed debt in this deal. Punch Taven shares rose 8% after the announcement, while Heineken's shares dropped 0.7%. [WSJ]