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Mon 5th Jan 2015 - JD Wetherspoon ends Heineken de-listing row
JD Wetherspoon ends Heineken de-listing row: JD Wetherspoon has come to an agreement with Heineken to re-stock a range of its products in its UK and Republic of Ireland pubs. It follows its decision in December to delist all Heineken products from its 926 pubs after a stocking row between the two companies in Eire. Wetherspoon’s pubs in the UK will serve Heineken, Fosters, Kronenbourg 1664, Strongbow, John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel. In the Republic of Ireland its pubs will serve Beamish, Fosters and Symonds Cider. The Republic of Ireland pubs will not serve Murphy’s or Heineken. Wetherspoon commercial director Paul Hine said: “We are pleased to have reached agreeable commercial terms with Heineken. In the Republic of Ireland we will serve the three Heineken products at prices in line with our other products.” Tim Martin, the Wetherspoon chairman, who had accused Heineken last month of being “obstructive”, told The Times that a series of meetings between the two sides had been constructive. He declined to be drawn on the talks, but joked: “A fair and reasonable Irish compromise is on the cards. Naturally, both sides will be dissatisfied.” The row blew up after Heineken refused to supply Heineken lager (Ireland’s biggest-selling draught beer) and Murphy’s stout to Wetherspoon’s new pub in Dun Laoghaire in the Republic of Ireland and also demanded personal guarantees from Wetherspoon chief executive, John Hutson, in order to supply any other products for the Dun Laoghaire pub. The company sold Tom Crean’s lager, brewed in Dingle, instead. Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said last month: “We have been trading with Heineken for 35 years and they have never requested personal guarantees before. It’s obstructive to do so now, especially when we made record profits of around £80 million last year. The refusal to supply Heineken lager and Murphy’s just before the opening of our new pub in Dun Laoghaire, which represents an investment by us of nearly four million Euros, is unacceptable and hard to understand.” Wetherspoon has been selling Heineken lager and Murphy’s at under three Euros a pint in its first pub in the Republic of Ireland, The Three Tun Tavern at Blackrock, against an average price in Irish pubs of around five Euros.

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