With Ei Group's appointment of Rothschild to explore a sale of their Commercial Property Division which includes over 300 free-of-tie pubs, CAMRA have voiced concerns over potential closures.
Since their introduction under the Localism Act 2011, the designation of property as an Asset of Community Value ("ACV") has proven to be a divisive issue in the pub market. In some cases, they have preserved the hub of a local community, in others they have been used as a tool for NIMBYs or disgruntled tenants to prevent pubcos from realising the full open market value.
CAMRA's backing of the use of ACVs as a means of preventing redevelopment remains steadfast and with the prospect of freehouse closures triggered by Ei's announcement, a rise of applications is inevitable.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has urged Ei Group to sell its pubs to other operators after news the pubco is set to sell its commercial property branch.