Carlsberg forms joint venture beer company with Marston’s in the UK

UK – Carlsberg UK and one of UK’s leading independent brewing and pub retailing business, Marston’s have announced a proposed deal to form a joint venture beer company in the UK to be operated as Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.

Initial agreements between the companies will see Carlsberg UK and Marston’s inject their brewing and distribution assets into the joint venture.

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In addition, at completion of the joint venture Carlsberg revealed that it will pay up to £273 million (US$332.6m) to Marston’s, of which £34 million (US$41.42 million) will be a deferred contingent payment.

If the deal closes, Carlsberg will become the controlling shareholder, owning 60% of the joint venture, with Marston’s owning 40%. The transaction is anticipated to complete in the second half of this year, subject to shareholder approval at Marston’s and competition clearance.

“The creation of the joint venture is an important step forward for our UK business. The joint venture’s brand portfolio will allow us to offer a significantly stronger beer portfolio to our UK customers, and at the same time extend distribution into the Marston’s pub estate. CEO of Carlsberg, Cees ’t Hart said.

“In addition, the combined business will bring our customers wider choice, greater capacity, product innovation, and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits.”

The new joint venture company, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, is expected to have a strong portfolio of international, national and regional beer brands and will benefit from Marston’s Beer Company’s wide distribution network.

The joint venture will distribute Carlsberg’s brands including Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt, Poretti, Tetley’s, Somersby cider and the London Fields Brewery craft portfolio, as well as the UK licence for San Miguel, Mahou and the Brooklyn Brewery craft beer portfolio.

The Marston’s portfolio: Hobgoblin, Wainwright, Marston’s Pedigree and 61 Deep, Banks’s, Jennings, Ringwood and Eagle beer brands will also benefit from the joint venture. The company also has the UK licence for global brands Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin.

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Under the terms of the proposal, the joint venture will have access to the Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio through a long-term strategic partnership. Marston’s operates around 1,400 pubs.

Marston’s Beer Company also distributes to around 11,000 customers directly, including the independent free trade, other pub companies, the off-trade and export.

“ I am delighted to announce today’s JV with Carlsberg UK. This new partnership acknowledges Marston’s strategy, position and consistent outperformance against the UK beer market, realising value for shareholders today, whilst retaining an interest in the future upside of the combined entity,” Said Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive of Marston’s.

“Marston’s strong heritage, extensive distribution platform and established reputation for brewing and logistics excellence, together with Carlsberg UK’s values, long history in beer, 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.”

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