The U.K. pub industry faced several regulatory upheavals in 2004, yet with two deals already priced this year, things are looking up. Industry sources expect a better year for the sector, and maintain that the effects of the new regulations may not be as dire as some have anticipated.

One key issue is the partial smoking ban on British pubs expected to take effect in late 2008. The ban would apply to all bar areas as well as licensed premises that serve food.

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