CMA clears £780m Marston’s and Carlsberg joint venture

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Brew deal: Carlsberg UK and Marston's joint venture will complete before the end of October after the CMA approved a proposed £780m deal between their brewing operations
Brew deal: Carlsberg UK and Marston's joint venture will complete before the end of October after the CMA approved a proposed £780m deal between their brewing operations

Related tags: Carlsberg uk, Marston's pub company, Finance, Beer, Pubco + head office, Brewing

The Competition and Markets Authority has approved the proposed joint venture between Marston’s and Carlsberg’s brewing operations.

Carlsberg UK joint venture to see Marston’s become a ‘focused pub operator’

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The creation of the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will see Marston’s hand over the keys to its beer business and become a ‘focused pub operator’ for the first time in its near 200-year history.

Read more about the impact of Carlsberg UK and Marston’s joint venture on pubs here​.

phase one investigation​ was launched into the formation of the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company in August following concerns raised by the Campaign for Real Ale​ that the JV would prompt “market foreclosure for small brewers” and reduce choice for beer drinkers and pub-goers.

However, CMA approval will now see the proposed venture complete before the end of October. 

As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​ in May, the £780m deal​ values Marston’s Brewing Business at up to £580m and Carlsberg UK Brewing Business at £200m and will create a 60% Carlsberg UK-owned joint venture, with Marston’s holding the remaining 40%.

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will also boast assets including Carlsberg UK’s Northampton brewery, London Fields Brewery and national distribution centre, as well as Marston’s six national and regional breweries – Marston’s, Banks’s, Wychwood, Jennings, Ringwood and Eagle – plus 11 distribution depots.

The transaction terms also mean the new brewing company will have access to Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio, which is enshrined through a long-term supply and distribution agreement.

Carlsberg UK’s CEO Tomasz Blawat – who will head Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company as its CEO – explained that his vision is to combine Carlsberg’s lager credentials with Marston’s cask ale expertise to form “an enviable beer and beverage portfolio”. 

“One of the greatest strengths of the Marston’s business is its portfolio of regional brands that are brewed locally," he told The MA​ in May. "It will remain important to the joint venture that we continue to have a local brewery for consumers of these brands.

What’s more Marston’s CEO Ralph Findlay highlighted that the deal will herald the first time since the 1830s that the business won’t have control over its brewing operation, and will see it become a “focused pub operator” for the first time in its near 200-year history.

As reported by The​ MA ​​in October 2019, Marston’s revealed net debt of £1.39bn​​​ in a trading statement for the year ending 28 September 2019.

However, the joint venture with Carlsberg provides Marston’s with an initial £239m windfall – with a deferred contingent payment of £34m due 12 months after the deal’s completion. 

Related topics: Beer

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