Fuller's sells all of its beer brands to Japanese brewer Asahi

London Pride beer sold along with Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, where Fuller’s was founded in 1845

Ben Chapman
Friday 25 January 2019 10:43
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Fuller’s says it will focus on its core business of managing pubs and hotels
Fuller’s says it will focus on its core business of managing pubs and hotels

Japanese brewer Asahi has agreed to buy the beer business of London-based Fuller’s in a deal valuing the division at £250m.

The sale includes Fuller’s flagship London Pride, the Griffin Brewery, Cornish Orchards, Dark Star Brewing and Nectar Imports.

The Fuller’s brewery in Chiswick, where the company was founded in 1845, will also pass to Asahi.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said protecting the site’s heritage was “particularly important” to the Fuller’s board when negotiating the sale.

Fuller’s will maintain ownership of its brand names but Asahi will have an exclusive global licence to use them.

Asahi chief executive Akiyoshi Koji said the London Pride brand has “untapped potential” that could be unlocked.

Fuller’s said it would focus on its core pubs and hotels business, which makes up three quarters of the company’s revenues.

Mr Emeny said: “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 announcement came as Fuller’s revealed that like-for-like sales had grown 4.7 per cent in the pubs and hotels it manages over the 42 weeks to 19 January.

Jackie Parker of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) expressed concern that the deal could reduce choice for beer drinkers.

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“We’re also wary of one company increasingly controlling a larger and larger share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers,” she said.

“Fuller’s has been a family brewer in Britain for more than a hundred years, and it’s a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing business.

“It would be very disappointing to see the character of Fuller’s beers change as a result of the deal.”

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