SABMiller buys Greenwich's Meantime as craft beer cashes in

SABMiller, the FTSE 100 goliath behind lagers like Fosters and Peroni, bought Meantime for an undisclosed sum

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The Independent Online

Greenwich’s Meantime Brewery cashed in on the craft beer revolution sweeping the country today as its owners sold up to SABMiller, the FTSE 100 goliath behind lagers like Fosters and Peroni.

The company - founded by brewer Alistair Hook in 1999 and maker of beers including London Lager and Yakima Red - has been snapped up for an undisclosed fee by the world’s second biggest brewer, attracted by a market growing at 60% a year.

Meantime is run by Nick Miller, who joined from SABMiller in 2011. Miller and Hook will stay as the firm plots a push beyond its London heartland deeper into UK regional markets and overseas. Its Greenwich brewery will be expanded and become a product development centre.

“Beer is going through a real renaissance. If you look at what’s happened to coffee over the last 20 years, beer is on the cusp of moving into that territory,” Miller said. Meantime’s premium pricing and wider appeal have attracted SABMiller. “Women in particular are attracted to the craft segment,” European managing director Sue Clark said.

Meantime refused to disclose the stakes in the business, which made pre-tax profits of £571,644 on £11.5 million sales in 2013. Miller is likely to have made huge profits on 200,000 options granted at £2 a share in 2011.

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