Marston’s acquires Charles Wells brewery in £55M deal

Martson’s is to acquire Charles Wells’s brewery business in a deal worth £55M

Marston’s has agreed to acquire the brewing business of Charles Wells Group in a deal worth £55M, which will see the brewer expand its presence in the UK.

Wolverhampton-based Marston’s will take control of Charles Wells’s portfolio of more than 30 beers, including the Bombardier, Young’s and McEwan’s brands.

The brewer will also gain the distribution rights for the Estrella Damm lager brand and other beers under license including Kirin and Erdinger.

As part of the acquisition, Marston’s has entered into a long-term exclusive agreement to supply all beer, wine, spirits and minerals to the Charles Wells pub estate.

Chief executive officer of Marston’s Ralph Findlay commented: “We are delighted to have agreed to acquire Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business.

‘Extend our trading area’

“It is a high quality brewing business offering us opportunities to extend our trading area in the south of England and Scotland, and brings a range of well-known and popular brands into our portfolio.”

Marston’s said the deal would expand its production capabilities to include lager brewing and canning, while improving production and distribution efficiency.

“From a supply chain perspective, Charles Wells offers lager brewing and canning capacity of scale, activities which are not currently undertaken by Marston’s,” said the company.  

“In addition, the acquisition presents opportunities to further improve efficiencies in brewing, packaging and logistics.”

The business said the acquisition of Charles Wells was a part of its strategy over the past five years to become the UK’s leading premium beer business.

‘Become a close trading partner’

Justin Phillimore, chief executive officer of Charles Wells Brewery, added: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Marston’s to acquire our brewery and become a close trading partner.

“After a detailed review of our strategy we had decided to re-balance the company more towards retail investment and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future. There are opportunities for both companies in this deal and we look forward to bringing them to life.

The value of the sale equates to nine-times Charles Wells’s current earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Meanwhile, last month food and drink manufacturers spent more than £1.5bn on acquisitions.

Weetabix was acquired by Post Holdings in a deal worth £1.4bn, while Addo Food Group was sold to Lloyds Development Capital in a deal estimated to be about £100M.  

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