Carlsberg UK and Marston Brewers Announce Merger | Business

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The Danish brewer Carlsberg and the British pub and keg company Marston’s have announced the creation of a joint venture, raising concerns among small brewers who fear being forced out of the market.

Marston’s shares jumped 36%, recovering some of the value lost since the foreclosure of Covid-19, which closed pubs across the country, as investors applauded the merger.

Under the deal, the Danish company will own 60% of the new Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, with Marston holding 40% and receiving cash payments of up to £ 273 million.

The new company will offer a mix of mainstream lagers from Carlsberg and Marston kegs such as Hobgoblin and Pedigree, and will also be able to introduce Carlsberg beers to the Marston area of ​​approximately 1,400 British pubs .

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the trade organization representing small breweries, has warned that the deal could make it more difficult for independent beer companies to put their beers in pubs.

“This merger is the latest in a series of consolidations in the UK beer market,” said SIBA managing director James Calder.

“It has the potential to propel the Marston brand to the world and does not bring Carlsberg back into the distribution and babywearing industry until after a few years of release. This merger again has the potential to have a negative impact on small independent brewers by further reducing the market access they receive. “

Despite the growth of craft beer in the UK over the past decade, small breweries have struggled with the response of global brewing giants, some of whom have sought to take advantage of changing tastes by buying more small operators.

These include Carlsberg’s takeover of London Fields, as well as Heineken’s investment in Beavertown and the transaction that triggered a wave of takeovers – the agreement of the owner of Budweiser AB InBev for the Camden Town brewery.

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Carlsberg Group CEO Cees’ t Hart said the deal would bring customers “more choice, more capacity, innovative products and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits “

Marston President and CEO Ralph Findlay said: “This new partnership recognizes Marston’s strategy, position and consistent outperformance compared to the UK beer market, achieving shareholder value today. retaining an interest in the upward future of the combined entity. “

Analysts at securities broker Jefferies described the joint venture as “attractive”, highlighting benefits including one-time synergies of £ 32 million and annual savings of £ 24 million by the end of the third year of the joint venture.

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