Tie between pub companies and landlords should be loosened, says committee

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The Independent Online

MPs are expected to start a shake-up of the UK's struggling pub sector when the influential Business and Enterprise Committee publishes its report Pub Company Power on Wednesday.

With estimates suggesting that around six pubs close down every day, the committee will reveal its long-awaited findings into the trade and the so-called "beer tie". Under the traditional tie, companies lease pubs to tenants in exchange for exclusive beer and drink sales. In the past, rents were kept low, but spiralling costs have prompted dramatic rent rises.

The report may propose a monopolies investigation, although a watering down of the beer tie is thought more likely.

Ahead of the report's publication, Enterprise Inns will update the market on the speed of its pub sale programme. Last month Punch Taverns said it had sold off £91m worth of pubs in the past 35 weeks.