Dutch brewer Heineken appears to have dented hopes of better conditions for Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) pensioners after a three-year battle.
Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chief executive of Heineken, said the maker of Deuchars IPA, Newcastle Brown Ale and John Smiths had done its “fair share”, despite a refusal to peg annual pension increases to inflation.
Van Boxmeer has agreed to appear before the House of Commons’ business innovation and skills select committee if called as pensioners asked for their case to be considered in a wider review of foreign takeovers of British firms by the government.
The S&N Pensions Group (SNPG) claims a commitment to the Scottish brewer’s tradition of paying inflation-linked annual rises was made in March 2008, before the joint takeover by Heineken and Carlsberg.
“We have been contributing a lot out of the company by recapitalising regularly the funds, so I think we did our fair share,” van Boxmeer said. “I understand the pain but I think we have a strong point which we can defend.”