Fuller's sells entire drinks business to Asahi Europe

Fuller's sells entire drinks business to Asahi Europe

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC has agreed to sell its entire beer, cider, soft drinks and distribution business to Asahi Europe Ltd for an enterprise value of £250m on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

The two businesses have also agreed to arrangements that will see beers from across the Asahi portfolio sold in Fuller’s-owned pubs and tenanted outlets.

Fuller’s will carry its former brands alongside the existing Asahi Europe portfolio across its pubs and hotels.

Under the terms of the deal, Asahi Europe will acquire the operations at the Chiswick-based Griffin Brewery where it will continue to brew.

Ownership of Dark Star and Cornish Orchards brands, brewing and cider-making operations, as well as wholesale operation Nectar Imports will also transfer to Asahi Europe.

“This deal secures the future of both parts of our business, including protecting the heritage of the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, which was particularly important to the Fuller’s board,” says Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s.

“We remain incredibly proud of the Fuller’s Beer Business, its history and the high quality premium beer and cider portfolio that we have developed.

“Brewing has formed an integral part of our history and brand identity, however the core of Fuller’s and the driver of our future growth is now our premium pubs and hotels business.”

The agreement remains subject to the conditions of the deal, including approvals by Fuller, Smith & Turner’s shareholders and the UK Competitions and Markets Authority.

Assuming that the conditions are met, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.