The London Pride and Dark Star brewer Fuller’s is selling all of its beer business to Asahi for £250m.
Under the deal, the family run will sell the production and distribution of its beers to the European arm of the Japanese brewer, which already owns Meantime in the UK.
The sale includes the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, where the company was founded in 1845.
CAMRA has raised concerns about the takeover and its consumer implications on choice and beer quality.
CAMRA chairman Jackie Parker said: “CAMRA is always concerned about any consolidation in the brewing industry as it could result in a reduction in choice, value for money and quality for beer drinkers. We’re also wary of one company increasingly controlling a larger and larger share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers”.
“Fuller’s has been a family brewer in Britain for more than a hundred years, and it’s a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing business.
“It would be very disappointing to see the character of Fuller’s beers change as a result of the deal. While the Fuller’s family has stressed it has sought to protect the heritage of the Griffin Brewery, we’d call on the new owners to pledge to continue brewing operations at the Chiswick site as well as show a commitment to not only continuing cask beer production, but to preserve the full range of Fuller’s, Dark Star and Gale’s beers.”
The deal means London Pride and Dark Star Hophead, lager brand Frontier, as well as Cornish Orchards cider and soft drinks will join Asahi Super Dry, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Meantime under Asahi Europe ownership.
Fuller’s says the deal will allow it to concentrate on its pubs and hotels which generate 87 per cent of its profits.
Asahi-Europe boss Hector Gorosabel said: “Asahi Europe has already established a leading presence in the premium beer category. Welcoming these brands and operations to our business will further consolidate that position, enabling us to even better serve our customers and consumers.”
“At the same time, our global footprint will enable us to unlock the potential in these brands internationally to significantly enhance their scale and value. It is another step towards realising Asahi Europe’s vision of becoming a global brewing powerhouse built on our commitment to brewing excellence and quality.”
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