Lancashire

Marston's buys Thwaites brewing arm in £25.1m deal

Daniel Thwaites PLC is selling the major part of its beer business to the pub group Marston's in a £25.1m deal.

Marston's has been brewing Thwaites beers since early last year, after the firm announced it was shutting down its main brewery in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The acquisition includes two premium ales, Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber.

Marston's will secure both Thwaites beers and the firm's 150-strong team of regional sales, marketing and distribution staff.

Last year, Thwaites announced it would be moving to a new £10m factory at Mellor, a village near Blackburn.

A spokesman said the company would still move as it continues to brew beer for its own pubs, inns and hotels in a small craft brewery - but the current site is too big.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's, said he was "delighted" to acquire "a very high-quality business with good people and brands, and with growth potential".

Tom Stainer of the Campaign for Real Ale said: "We believe that consumer choice is always reduced when breweries are acquired by larger operators.

"We'd urge Marston's to ensure that the individual nature and taste of Thwaites brands are not diluted and lost as a result of this acquisition."

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