The €3.2 billion acquisition of two UK pub operators, by a consortium led by the Cinven venture capital group, has been cleared by the European Commission.

"The acquisition does not give rise to competition concerns since Cinven does not, at present, have any pub activities in the UK," the Commission said in a statement. In collaboration with Enterprise Inns, Cinven is acquiring two pub groups, The Unique Pub Company and Voyager Pub Group, from Japanese merchant bank Nomura Holdings.

Enterprise Inns already operates around 3,500 pubs in the UK and has an option to buy out Cinven's stake in the venture in two years, which would make it the UK's largest pub operator.

The Voyager Pub Group had around 970 leased pubs nationwide, while The Unique Pub Company owns about 3,250 managed houses.