Marston’s and Carlsberg to merge in £780m deal

Marston’s and Carlsberg are set to merge in a deal that the firms say will create a “best-in-class, brand led brewer of scale”.

The new company, called Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC), will have a combined value of £780m. Marston’s, based in Wolverhampton, will hold a 40% stake in CMBC and a cash equalisation payment of up to £273m. Carlsberg, which has its UK HQ in Northampton, will hold the remaining 60% stake.

The merger deal is set to complete in Q3 of this year.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, said: “I am delighted to announce today’s JV with Carlsberg UK. This new partnership acknowledges Marston’s strategy, position and consistent outperformance against the UK beer market, realising value for shareholders today, whilst retaining an interest in the future upside of the combined entity.

“Marston’s strong heritage, extensive distribution platform and established reputation for brewing and logistics excellence, together with Carlsberg UK’s values, long history in beer, brand portfolio and scale, combine the best attributes of both to create a compelling beer business with an outstanding portfolio of global and local beer brands, proven brewing expertise, strong distribution network and wholesale opportunity.

“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, managing director of Carlsberg UK, said: “We are excited to move into the next phase of our growth strategy. After a successful relaunch of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner in the UK last year, we are now building a new beer company by combining two organisations with shared values and strong history and heritage in brewing.

“Our intent for the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company is for it to become a platform for growth for all of our customers and suppliers, offering a bigger beer portfolio of complementary international, national and regional brands. We believe the new business will deliver even more value for employees, customers and consumers, thereby creating greater future growth potential.”

Click here for a comprehensive list of West Midlands deals >