SA Brain ‘up for sale’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Reports state: this follows news earlier this year of SA Brain selling 40 sites
Reports state: this follows news earlier this year of SA Brain selling 40 sites

Related tags Sa brain Finance Pubs Brewing

Welsh brewer and pub group SA Brain is reportedly up for sale, recruiting advisers to “navigate this period of uncertainty”.

The family-owned firm was established in 1882, founded by Samuel Arthur Brain who bought the Old Brewery on St Mary Street Cardiff and the Albert pub with his uncle Joseph Benjamin Brain. The group now has 150 pubs across Wales.

The Sunday Times ​reported the pub group and brewer has brought in advisers Evercore to invite investment offers or sale to a trade buyer.

A statement from the company said: “Given the impact of Covid-19 on the entire hospitality sector, Brains with its advisers Evercore, is working with all stakeholders to navigate through this period of uncertainty.”

Three-year plan

This follows the company’s announcement in March, that it was selling 40 “non-core” pubs​ and reorganising its support centre to create a “leaner and more agile business”.

The company outlined how it has a three-year plan to significantly grow its profitability and future-proof it for the benefit of generations to come.

While it is executing this plan and it claimed the momentum is building with encouraging progress being made against its key priorities, it is facing uncertain economic times due to the costs around Brexit, specifically the national living wage, which is set to rise ahead of inflation.

As a result of this, it said it had identified about 40 pubs, in its managed and partnership arms that are not core to its business.

More agile business

At that time, Brains released a statement that read: “We have engaged the team at [real estate adviser] Avison Young in Cardiff to sell these over the coming months.

“We have briefed all the teams in the selected pubs. The proceeds of these sales will enable us both to improve the quality of the rest of our estate and to repay some of the facilities provided to us by our bank partners, HSBC and Lloyds.

“Regrettably, we will require fewer people to provide services to our pub estate once the sales are completed and so will reorganise our support centre to create a leaner and more agile business.

“We shall manage this difficult process with respect and care, recognising the loyalty and commitment of all our colleagues to Brains. We will carry out these changes over the coming months to ensure we have sufficient time to make proper provisions for any colleagues affected and to minimise the impact of these changes.”

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