The Pubs Code Adjudicator, Paul Newby and Deputy, Fiona Dickie has just launched an investigation into Star Pubs & Bars Ltd, part of the Heineken Group.
This is the first investigation by the Pubs Code Adjudicator and Deputy Pubs Code Adjudicator and follows a period of engagement with Star. The Adjudicators have reasonable grounds to suspect that Star has failed to comply with the Pubs Code by using unreasonable stocking terms in proposed free-of-tie Market Rent Only (MRO) tenancies.
The investigation will cover the period from 21 July 2016 when the Pubs Code became law to 10 July 2019.
Newby said, 'Fiona Dickie and I have decided to launch this investigation to understand the extent to which the Pubs Code may have been breached and the potential impact on Star tenants.'
Dickie added, “Where tenants of a brewer business regulated by the Pubs Code exercise their right to ask to go free-of-tie they may still be required to stock that brewer’s beer or cider within limits set out under the Pubs Code. This investigation concerns whether Star has been going beyond those limits by offering non-compliant terms.
“It is important that Star tenants and other interested parties provide us with information to support this investigation.Their information will help us to determine whether the Pubs Code has been broken and, if so, what further action should be taken.
“Any tenants and other interested parties who provide information for the purposes of the investigation will not be identified in the investigation report without their consent.'