Black Country brewery and pub chain Marston's has bought part of Lancashire group Daniel Thwaites for £25.1 million.
The Wolverhampton-based company has acquired the trading operations of Thwaites' beer division which includes two premium brands, Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber.
Listed Marston's has been brewing Thwaites' beers since early last year and, as part of this acquisition, the firm has entered into a long-term exclusivity agreement to supply all beer, wine, spirits and minerals to the Thwaites pub estate.
The beer division of Blackburn-based Thwaites is concentrated in the North West and includes a 150-strong team of regional sales, marketing and distribution staff operating in the independent free trade, national on trade and national off trade channels.
In recent years, it has acquired Hydes Brewery's free trade business which increased Thwaites' business in Manchester.
Marston's said the deal was consistent with its brewing strategy to focus on popular premium ales with local and regional appeal and provided an opportunity to capitalise on the developing free trade market and wider consumer interest in the beer category.
The transaction is expected to complete later this month.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's, said today: "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."