McMullen's Brewery saved by restructure

Related tags Mcmullen Beer David mcmullen

by Tony Halstead Beer production at independent brewer McMullen's of Hertford has been saved, following a boardroom deal which has healed a family...

by Tony Halstead Beer production at independent brewer McMullen's of Hertford has been saved, following a boardroom deal which has healed a family rift threatening to tear the company apart. Factions of the controlling McMullen's family have agreed a compromise fund-raising restructure, which provides shareholders and two of the family trusts with cash returns originally demanded from the company. The deal will preserve brewing and guarantees none of the pubs in the McMullen's 130-strong tied estate will sold. The capital required by the two McMullen family interests will be realised through the sale of non-licensed premises. Although brewing will be retained, production will be scaled down so that McMullen's can take advantage of the sliding excise duty scales brought in by the Government last year. It will mean an end to contract brewing for McMullen's to help volume output fall below the 18,300 tax break barrelage ceiling, which would mean the company saving some £120,000 per year. Spokesman Barry Bremner said: "The deal means, in effect, that brewing at McMullen's has been saved." The news comes as a massive relief to the 1,000 workers employed at McMullen's and to others in the area relying on the brewery for their livelihoods. The Campaign For Real Ale, which launched a campaign to save the brewery earlier this year, said it was delighted. Head of campaigns and communications Mike Benner said: "We are delighted that drinkers will be able to enjoy McMul-len's beers in the future. We believe the decision by the McMullen's board to stay vertically integrated, selling their fine ales through their own pub estate is the right thing to do and will secure a future for the company." McMullen's announced a review of its operations last summer after two family trusts announced a wish to access locked-in capital in the company. lSee Protz, p8 Chairman will step down Chairman David McMullen has announced he will be stepping down from his post on health grounds but will continue as a non-executive director. Peter Furness-Smith, currently joint managing director along with David McMullen, will assume the post of sole managing director.

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