Carlsberg and Marston’s announce joint venture

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Carlsberg UK and leading independent brewing and pub retailing business Marston’s have announced plans for a joint venture beer company.

The new Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will “create significant value for employees, customers and consumers in the UK market,” the companies said.

The new company boats a portfolio of international, national and regional beer brands, with Carlsberg famous for iconic lager and world beer brands, and Marston’s, for its premium cask and packaged ales, including Hobgoblin, Wainwright, Marston’s Pedigree and 61 Deep.

The company will have assets including Carlsberg UK’s Northampton brewery, London Fields brewery, and national distribution centre; and Marston’s six national and regional breweries – Marston’s, Banks’s, Wychwood, Jennings, Ringwood and Eagle – and 11 distribution depots.

It will also have access to Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio which is enshrined through a strategic, long-term supply and distribution agreement.

Carlsberg UK will be the majority shareholder in the company, owning 60% of the equity. Marston’s will hold the remaining shares.

Current Carlsberg UK managing director, Tomasz Blawat, will be the chief executive of the joint venture and current Marston’s PLC chief executive Ralph Findlay will take the role of non-executive chairman. Richard Westwood, current managing director of Marston’s Beer Company, will be the chief operating officer in charge of integration.

Blawat commented: “We are excited to move into the next phase of our growth strategy. After a successful relaunch of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner in the UK last year, we are now building a new beer company by combining two organisations with shared values and strong history and heritage in brewing.

“Our intent for Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company is for it to become a platform for growth for all of our customers and suppliers, offering a bigger beer portfolio of complementary international, national and regional brands. We believe the new business will deliver even more value for employees, customers and consumers, thereby creating greater future growth potential.”

Findlay added: “Marston’s strong heritage, extensive distribution platform and established reputation for brewing and logistics excellence, together with Carlsberg UK’s global brand portfolio and scale, combine the best attributes of both to create a compelling beer business with an outstanding portfolio of global and local beer brands, proven brewing expertise, strong distribution network and wholesale opportunity.”

The formation of the company is subject to Marston’s shareholder approval and competition clearance. The terms also include a consultation process for all Marston’s Beer Company employees in relation to the transfer of their employment.

The companies hope to complete the transaction in the third quarter of this year.