Thwaites sells beer division for £25m

Daniel Thwaites has exchanged contracts to sell its beer division, comprising the businesses that sell and wholesale beers, to Marston’s in a deal worth around £25m.

Thwaites

As part of the transaction it has also sold two of its principal beer brands; Wainwright Golden Ale and Lancaster Bomber.

Marston's has been brewing Thwaites' beers since 2014, and as part of the acquisition, they have entered into a long-term exclusive agreement to supply all beer, wine, spirits and minerals to Thwaites' pub estate.

The sale is subject to a consultation process, with approximately 150 employees set to transfer to Marston’s before the end of April. Thwaites and Marston’s have worked together as part of the deal to put in place a new long term supply agreement.

Commenting on the transaction, Ralph Findlay, chief executive officer of Marston’s, said: "I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues to Marston's. We are acquiring a very high quality business with good people and brands, and with growth potential.

"The acquisition is consistent with our beer business strategy to focus on local provenance and premium brands, and provides opportunity to capitalise on the developing free trade market and increasing consumer interest in the beer category."

Thwaites will retain ownership of its  craft beer brands and other cask ale brands, including its seasonal ale range, which it will continue to brew and sell in its own properties.

Richard Bailey, chief executive of Daniel Thwaites,  said: “This is a very exciting development which allows us to focus on our pubs, inns and hotels, whilst retaining a small brewery to continue to supply our own properties with our fantastic beers and opening up a wider drinks range to our customers through a long term supply deal with Marston’s.

"We are delighted that our beer business will find a new home in a company that is as passionate about the quality of beer that we have always been and will provide ongoing employment for the vast majority of our employees affected.

"It is our intention to redeploy the proceeds into both our existing, and new properties and the sale of our third party beer business allows us to move forward with our strategy to provide superb hospitality in outstanding properties in great locations.” The transaction is expected to complete on 17 April 2015.