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

Marston’s swoops for Bombardier maker’s brewing business

Marston’s swoops for Bombardier maker’s brewing business

After 141 years of brewing some of Britain's best-known beers, Charles Wells has today announced it is selling its brewery and beer brands to Marston's to focus on its pubs.

The riverside brewery was founded by Charles Wells himself in 1876 and has spent the past 140 years brewing its distinctive beers for pubs all over the United Kingdom and France.

The acquisition of the Charles Wells brewing business - which bought the McEwan's and Younger's brands from Heineken in 2011 - will raise Marston's ale market share up from 11 per cent to 16 per cent.

The Charles Wells pub business is not included in the sale but it means Bombardier, Courage and McEwans will now belong to Marston's, along with the distribution rights for Kirin lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders.

The brewery employs 300 people, many of whom have worked there for decades.

"The Charles Wells pub estate will have the benefit of the wider beer and wine range available from Marston's".

Founded in 1876, Charles Wells will now focus on expanding its managed pub businesses in the United Kingdom and France through acquisition alongside additional investment in its leased and tenanted estate.

Charles Wells announced that it would be downsizing its brewing operation and followingthis sale would be investing in a small new, Bedford-based brewery to supply beers to its pub customers in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Bedford's historic Charles Wells brewery is to be been sold lock, stock and barrel to pub giants Marston's.

Justin Phillimore, chief executive officer of Charles Wells Brewery, said the company was "delighted" to have reached an agreement with Marston's to acquire the brewery and become a "close" trading partner.

"After a detailed review of our strategy we had chose to rebalance the company more towards retail investment - and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future", he said.

"It is a high quality brewing business offering us opportunities to extend our trading area in the south of England and Scotland, and brings a range of well-known and popular brands into our portfolio".

"After a detailed review of our strategy we had made a decision to re-balance the company more towards retail investment and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future", said Charles Wells chief executive Justin Phillimore.

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