City File: Beer brawls

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The Independent Online
MEANWHILE, a lot of fermenting is taking place at small regional breweries, much of it nothing to do with beer. For fermenting, read aggro: Gibbs Mew v bidder Brierley Investments, Hoskins Brewery v Dissident Shareholders, and Wiltshire Brewery v Recession.

Investors should steer clear of all three. Whatever the result of the bid, much work has to be done to sweat reasonable returns out of Gibbs; Barrie Hoar, chairman of Hoskins, is facing a vote of no confidence; and Wiltshire awaits the green light for a capital injection from United Breweries of India and Bass. Even with the money there's not much in the shares. Without the money, Wiltshire looks to be deep in the dregs.

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