Marston's, with pubs in Norfolk, announces joint venture with Carlsberg

The Marston's headquarters in Wolverhampton

These include Carlsberg's own takeover of London Fields, as well as Heineken's investment in Beavertown, and the deal that triggered a wave of buyouts - Budweiser owner AB InBev's deal for Camden Town Brewery.

Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company, the joint venture, would deliver annual cost savings of around 24 million pounds, expected by the end of the third year following the completion of the deal, Marston's said.

The FTSE 250 brewer and pub operator said on Friday that the deal values its brewing business at up to £580m and the Carlsberg UK brewing business at £200.

Investors cheered news today that beer and pubs group Marston's (MARS) will merge its brewing business with Carlsberg UK to form Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company, lifting the shares a dizzying 101% to 65.5p.

Talks about the joint venture started late past year, the company said, and the deal is expected to complete in before the end of September, subject to shareholder approval and competition clearance.

Its new Copenhagen-based partner will control the other 60% of what will be called the Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company, which will own Marston's beer brands such as Marston's Pedigree, Banks's Bitter, Hobgoblin, Brakspear, Shipyard, Bombardier and Wainwright, plus Calsberg Pilsner, San Miguel, Tuborg, Holsten Pils, Tetley's, Skol and Brooklyn.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay commented, 'Marston's will play a key role in the prospects of the combined entity which represents an exciting new chapter in Marston's established brewing heritage and future potential, whilst enabling it to further reduce its debt and focus on maximising value from its high quality pub estate'.

Tomasz Blawat, MD of Carlsberg UK, said: "We are excited to move into the next phase of our growth strategy. In addition, the combined business will bring our customers wider choice, greater capacity, product innovation and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits".

The new business will offer a mix of Carlsberg's mass-market lagers and Marston's cask ale brands such as Hobgoblin and Pedigree, and will also be able to feed Carlsberg beers into Marston's estate of around 1,400 United Kingdom pubs.



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