Fullers Plans Sale Of Griffin Brewery To Japanese Asahi

Fullers logo on dray

Fuller’s announces that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its entire beer business to Asahi Europe Ltd (AEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd, for an enterprise value of ¬£250 million.

The business being sold comprises the entirety of Fuller’s beer, cider and soft drinks brewing and production, wine wholesaling, as well as the distribution thereof, and also includes the Griffin Brewery, Cornish Orchards, Dark Star Brewing and Nectar Imports.

Under the terms of the Proposed Disposal, Asahi will acquire the brands of the Beer Business (including “London Pride”) and will receive the benefit of a licence, on a perpetual, global, exclusive and royalty-free basis, to use certain trade marks (including the “Fuller’s” name, logo and cartouche) for the provision of beverages. Ownership of the licensed trade marks will be retained by Fuller’s.

Fuller’s main production facility is the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, where brewing has taken place continuously since 1654. Additional production facilities are located in Cornwall and Sussex which are associated with Cornish Orchards and Dark Star Brewing respectively. A distribution centre is located in Horndean and Nectar Imports has a head office and distribution centre in Wiltshire. As part of the transaction, AEL will take control of all of these facilities. Products are sold into Fuller’s pubs and hotels, national pub chains, independent pub operators, supermarkets across the United Kingdom and exported to over 80 countries internationally. To provide a comprehensive offering to customers, the Beer Business also distributes selected third party brands alongside its own portfolio of premium brands.

Asahi was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1889 as the Osaka Beer Brewing Company with the goal of producing authentic and distinct Japanese beer to suit Japanese consumer tastes.
Asahi aspires to be a clear leader in brewing quality and production technology, and is well ¬≠recognised for adhering to industry-leading standards. This commitment to high quality has been followed throughout Asahi’s history since opening its first brewery in 1889.

In Europe, AEL has an unrivalled portfolio of iconic premium beers including Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime following the acquisition of these brands and related businesses in October 2016.

Simon Emeny, Chief Executive of Fuller’s, commented:
“This 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. We remain incredibly proud of the Fuller’s Beer Business, its history and the high quality premium beer and cider portfolio that we have developed. Brewing has formed an integral part of our history and brand identity, however the core of Fuller’s and the driver of our future growth is now our premium pubs and hotels business. ”
“I am delighted that this transaction maintains Fuller’s long association with the Beer Business and that we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with Asahi as a key supplier. We look forward to continuing our alliance and developing a mutually beneficial partnership that will see both businesses flourish in the future. Asahi, as a company recognised for brewing excellence, is an appropriate custodian of our rich brewing history and the Griffin Brewery, and will ensure the Fuller’s Beer Business brands will reach an even wider global audience.”

Akiyoshi Koji, CEO of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd, commented:
“We have long admired the brewing business and exceptional beer brands that Fuller’s has built over the years and the high degree of respect it commands throughout the global beer industry. Fuller’s is one of the few brewers that show the same genuine commitment to brewing excellence and quality that we do. We strongly believe that the brands of the Beer Business, including London Pride, Frontier and Cornish Orchards among others, complement our premium portfolio in the UK market. In particular, London Pride is a fantastic brand with an illustrious heritage dating back to the 1950s and we are excited about its untapped international potential which Asahi has the scale and global network to unlock.”

You can visit Fuller’s Website HERE for more information and a history of the company and brewing in Chiswick.