McEwan’s parent bought for £55m

PUBS and brewing business Marston’s has agreed to buy the brewing and brands business of Charles Wells, parent company of McEwan’s, for £55 million.

In addition to McEwan’s the deal will include the Charles Wells brewery in Bedford and brands such as Bombardier and Courage as well as the UK distribution rights for Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Kirin Lager. Wine merchant Cockburn & Campbell will also transfer to Marston’s. The Charlie Wells and John Bull beers will remain part of Charles Wells, as will the company’s 200 pubs in England.

Moving forward, there will be agreements with Marston’s to supply the Charles Wells pubs.

Marston’s chief executive, Ralph Findlay, said the company is “absolutely committed to the future of brewing in Bedford”.

“This agreement offers us opportunities to extend our trading into new areas,” said Findlay.

“The acquisition of the Charles Wells brewing business builds on Marston’s established brewing prowess and is a further step in our objective to develop the leading premium beer business in the UK market, something that Bedford’s Eagle Brewery will play an important part in.”

Charles Wells chief executive, Justin Phillimore, said the business had decided to “re-balance the company more towards retail investment and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future”.

“There are opportunities for both companies in this deal and we look forward to bringing them to life,” said Phillimore.