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Marston's acquires Bombardier brewer for £55m

Listed Black Country brewery buys out rival as acquisition strategy continues

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's

Black Country brewery Marston's has acquired rival Charles Wells for £55 million.

Based in Bedford, Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business has a portfolio of more than 30 beers including brands such as Bombardier, Young's and McEwan's.

In addition, the business has UK distribution rights for the Estrella Damm lager and other beers under license including Kirin and Erdinger.

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

Wolverhampton-based Marston's said it would finance the acquisition from the proceeds of an equity placing which represented 9.9 per cent of Marston's issued share capital.

The acquisition is expected to be finalised in June, following completion of the appropriate consultation procedures.

Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay said: "We are delighted to have agreed to acquire Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business.

"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.

"We also aim to develop further our range of international licensed brands and look forward to working with our new overseas partners, including Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Kirin."

Charles Wells chief executive Justin Phillimore 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."

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