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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
MP fights brewery takeover
Pints of beer
The brewery owns some of the UK's best known ales
A Midlands MP is spearheading a campaign in the Commons to block plans for a hostile takeover of Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries.

Sir Patrick Cormack, MP for South Staffordshire, wants to stop a 423m bid for the brewery by the rival Pubmaster chain

A parliamentary debate is due to take place on the issue on Thursday.


There will be a plastic uniformity spreading it's ugly shadow over all the pubs

MP Sir Patrick Cormack
Sir Patrick believes the sale of the brewery would be "disastrous" for the brewing industry.

He said: "The brewery itself will be hived off and will go to one of the big breweries, reducing choice and increasing monopoly."

"Secondly, the distinctive character of individual pubs will be at risk.

Takeover bid

"I think there will be a plastic uniformity spreading its ugly shadow over all the pubs."

Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries was Britain's largest independent brewer, owning well-known known brands such as Marston's and Bank's as well as the Pitcher & Piano pub chain.

Pubmaster launched its takeover bid was launched on 4 June.

But in July, figures showed that just 3.7% of Wolverhampton & Dudley's shareholders had given it their backing.

The brewery has urged its shareholders to back its own restructuring programme, which includes selling 170 pubs and closing two breweries.

It intends to return 200m for investors over the next two years.

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See also:

04 Jun 01 | Business
Brewer defends independence
31 May 01 | Business
SAB eyes Bass Brewers
10 May 01 | Business
Foster's 'not aware' of Heineken bid
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