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Marston's adds Bombardier and Young's brewer to its portfolio

Charles Wells’s portfolio includes leading ale brands such as Bombardier, Young’s and McEwans.
Young's bitter
Not bitter ... at least it is not being taken over by serial brewery closer Greene King

Another independent British brewer is to become part of a conglomerate, after Charles Wells succumbed to a £55mln cash bid from Marston’s plc (LON:MARS).

Charles Wells’s portfolio includes leading ale brands such as Bombardier, Young’s and McEwans.

As part of the 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. 

The real ale crowd is likely to voice concerns about the future of the Charles Wells brewery but Marston’s – formerly Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries – has a policy of taking a local approach to brewing, and has five regional breweries located throughout England, so the 300 or so employees at the Charles Wells brewery have reason to be optimistic on their job security.

To pay for the acquisition Marston’s is to issue around 57.6mln new shares, equivalent to around one-tenth of the company’s issued share capital, which will be placed with institutional investors.

In its interim results Marston’s revealed a 3% increase in underlying profit before tax to £33.7mln in the 26 weeks to the first day of April on the back of a 3% increase in revenue to £440.8mln.

The late Easter had an estimated detrimental impact of profits of around £1.5mln.

Shares in Marston’s were down 1.6p at 142.4p. 

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