Lion Brewery divests two UK craft breweries to Odyssey Inn to focus more on established markets

UK – Lion, an Australian-based alcoholic beverage giant, has divested its domestic UK-based operations including Magic Rock and Fourpure to Odyssey Inn ltd, for undisclosed financial terms.

The sale includes the breweries and taprooms in London, Huddersfield and Holmfirth, and Little Creatures craft beer hospitality venue in Kings Cross, London.

Lion said the divestment will enable it to focus more on future investment in its businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and the US, where the unit has made significant craft beer investments and is a leading craft brewer.

However, some market analysts view the divestment by the alcoholic beverage giant as a step back considering that in recent years, it made acquisitions of US breweries Bell’s Brewery and New Belgium Brewing.

 

The sale of the brands, which were operated in the country by Kirin’s Lion Little World Beverages unit, is a result of a strategic change review the brewery announced earlier this year.

The strategic change came into consideration when the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the plans of Lion’s international expansion that it had been seeking after the acquisition of Magic Rock Brewing in 2019 and Fourpure in 2018.

It was suggested at the time that some of these brands would be suitable for a global rollout, a strategy that it had already modeled on Little Creatures following its 2012 buyout.

Lion’s UK Managing Director, Gordon Treanor, said: “Odyssey brings together a great team with a clear passion for brewing and hospitality and is ideally placed to take Magic Rock and Fourpure forward.”

I’d like to thank our brilliant team for their commitment and dedication, especially over the past two years. With some great sales and brand momentum, the business is well placed for the future ahead, under new ownership.”

The Odyssey team which is led by Stephen Cox has welcomed the Fourpure and Magic Rock brands team into their next chapters, effective today.

Stephen is an industry leader and brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the world of hospitality and the UK pub sector.

He also co-founded Devon’s Utopian Brewing and has worked with, as well as pioneered, a number of brands within the hospitality and drinks sector.

Stephen Cox commented that it is an incredible opportunity to take two exceptional brands, Fourpure and Magic Rock, to the next level.

Combined with an excellent hospitality proposition, fantastic people, and state-of-the-art breweries, he added that the company has really secured the platform to do great things.

According to Cox, the new chapter bring bags of energy and enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit, and strong industry experience, and they hope to bring joy to many more customers with these great beers.

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