The Japanese brewing company Asahi has purchased Fuller’s brewery, which produces the popular London Pride bitter. Fuller’s have said they will now focus attention on their pubs and hotels business, while the historic Griffin Brewery will be preserved in its Chiswick location.

About The Deal

Fuller’s achieved a price of £250m for the brewing business, which also includes their range of soft drinks, ciders and the Dark Star craft cask brew. Asahi also owns the European brands Peroni and Grolsch.

One of the reasons Fuller’s has sold the brewing business is down to pressures within the sector, according to a company spokesperson. They added that they were squeezed in the middle between global brewers and the rising numbers of small brewers in the UK. The company says it will be focusing on its hospitality outlets which are far more profitable, creating 87% of the company’s profits.

Fuller’s will be in partnership with Asahi, so all their outlets can continue to stock and sell their beers, soft drinks and ciders. The company’s chief executive, Simon Emeny, commented: “The deal secures the future of both parts of our business including protecting the heritage of the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, which was particularly important to the Fuller’s board.

Historic Elements Respected

The Chiswick brewery dates back to Oliver Cromwell’s time and is a recognisable part of the heritage within the locality.

The sale of the brewery will enable Fuller’s to invest more into their hospitality business, which is an increasingly important sector throughout the UK.

Fuller’s commented that they could not compete when the microbrewing sector in the UK received so many tax breaks and global drinks providers offered products at such competitive rates.

Asahi have stated they will continue the brewing tradition at the Griffin and commented that the new range would be a great addition to their existing lines: “In particular, London Pride is a fantastic brand with an illustrious heritage dating back to the 1950s.

Most of the profits from this sale will be given back to shareholders and invested in the business pension fund. So, if you’ve been wondering why the shares rose 22% on 25 January, you now know.