Magic Rock buyer ‘wouldn’t rule out’ more acquisitions

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Buyout: Magic Rock sold to Lion
Buyout: Magic Rock sold to Lion

Related tags: Craft beer

More UK craft breweries could be snapped up by Australian food and drinks maker Lion, as the firm’s managing director refused to rule out further acquisitions following the buyout of Magic Rock.

Northern craft beer brewer Magic Rock was sold to Lion for an undisclosed​ sum in a deal that was announced today (29 March).

This is the firm’s second step into the UK craft brewing scene, having acquired Fourpure Brewing Co in July 2018.

Snapped up two craft brewers

Although Lion has snapped up two UK craft brewers in as many years, Lion Global Markets managing director Matt Tapper said there was a long runway ahead and would not rule out more acquisitions.

The UK’s position as the second largest craft beer market was drawing Lion’s focus further towards the country, said Tapper.

“Our estimates are that one in 20 pints of beer is a modern craft beer and I think brands like Magic Rock and businesses like that have the potential to put more craft beer in more people’s hands,” he told The Morning Advertiser​.

“I suppose that’s what excites us about the market, but we also believe it’s got a lot of growth and Magic Rock has a big part to play in that.”

That said, the company was not aiming to compete with the likes of AB InBev, which acquired Camden Town Brewery in 2015.

Great craft ethos

“We don’t think like our competitors, but we’re looking at our partners and focusing on how we can be the best,” he added. “Whether that’s the local publican or the local owner or bottle shop.”

As a business, Lion is keen to be part of the future of UK craft beer, “one of things that we’ve learnt is you want to go on that journey [with the brewer] and you want to be a part of these younger businesses that have a really great craft ethos”, said Tapper.

Meanwhile, Magic Rock co-founder Richard Burhouse said he planned to stay with the brewery​ for as long as possible following the acquisition.

Related topics: Beer