Marston’s has announced the acquisition of the Charles Wells beer and brewing business for £55m.
The transaction will be funded from the proceeds of an equity placing to raise 9.9% of issued share capital.
The portfolio includes more than 30 beers including Bombardier, Young’s and McEwan’s as well as the UK distribution rights for the Estrella Damm lager brand and other beers under license including Kirin and Erdinger.
As part of this 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.
Marston’s said the deal strengthened its presence in London and the South East and presented a platform to expand into Scotland.
The company said the £55m valuation equated to 9x current EBITDA before synergies, which are expected to be £4m and to be achieved by financial year 2019.
For the financial year ended 30 September 2016, Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business generated revenues of £92m, EBITDA of £6m, operating EBIT of £5m on a 52 week basis and net tangible assets of £36m.
In the next couple of years Charles Wells will invest in a small new, Bedford based, brewery to supply beers to its pub customers in the UK and Europe, and brewing and supply agreements will be made with Marston’s for interim brewing and longer term exclusive pub distribution services.
Charles Wells said its key focus going forward would become the expansion of the managed pub businesses in the UK and France through acquisition, alongside additional investment in the leased and tenanted estate.
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.
“The acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business builds on Marston’s established brewing prowess and is a further step in our objective to develop the leading premium beer business in the UK market. We have demonstrated our ability to acquire, integrate and develop beer brands evidenced by the success of brands such as Hobgoblin, Wainwright, and Lancaster Bomber. We have also achieved success with international licensed brands including Shipyard, now the 2nd biggest craft beer in the UK on trade.”
Charles Wells chief executive Justin Phillimore said: “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.”