International brewing giant to review its options for UK operation

The Australian owner of a Huddersfield-based craft beer producer has today said it will conduct a “strategic review” of its UK business, which could mean finding a buyer for this operation.

Australian global brewing giant Lion, which is ultimately owned by Kirin of Japan, has appointed advisers to review its UK arm – Lion Little World Beverages UK.

The key British-based operations are two craft beer producers, Huddersfield’s Magic Rock, acquired in 2019 and London-based Fourpure, acquired in 2018.

Investment banking company, Greenhill, will scope potential buyers and explore alternative structures for ownership and funding.

Magic Rock, which has tap rooms in Huddersfield and Holmfirth, was founded as a two-man operation in 2011 and has expanded significantly since then.

Gordon Treanor, MD of Lion Little World Beverages UK, said: “Both Magic Rock and Fourpure are well established, award winning craft brands.

“We have continued to invest in the business and have been building momentum, so the business is well placed in the UK.

“At the same time, Lion has made very significant craft investments in the US and Australia. Like any business we need to make choices as to where we continue to direct our investment.

“While no decisions have been made, we need to determine how best to set up Magic Rock and Fourpure for success in the coming years.”