The latest consolidation within the beer category sees the two major brewers complete a joint venture deal worth £780m to create new Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC)
In addition to its eponymous brand, Carlsberg brings brands such as Poretti, Tetley's and Somersby Cider, as well as Hackney’s London Fields Brewing. Marston’s, meanwhile, includes beer brands such as Wychwood, Jennings and Eagle.
The new company will bring these all together, alongside a number of beers under license, such as Mahou and Brooklyn Brewery. It also gains access to Marston’s 1,400-strong pub estate, and Marston’s distribution network, which covers 11,000 customers.
‘This is a significant moment for us as we create a new, better beer company, with a sustainable future in UK brewing,’ said Paul Davies, the new CEO of Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company. ‘We have a rare opportunity to create a unique beer business which combines over 300 years of brewing heritage and an unrivalled portfolio of brands.’
Non-executive chairman Ralph Findlay added: ‘Our vision comes from a shared passion for beer, and our belief that combining our unrivalled brand portfolios with outstanding service will create a stronger business.’
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has been vocal in its opposition to the merger. ‘We are increasingly concerned with the dominance of global brewing brands in the UK beer market and the impact this has on consumer choice,’ said national chairman Nik Antona when the deal was given the go ahead by the CMA last month.
‘While we have seen an increase in the number of small brewers producing some great and varied beers, these brewers account for less than 6% of the total market and are therefore unable to provide effective competition. Many of these smaller brands cannot access the pub market due to the dominance of supply and distribution agreements operated by pub companies and global suppliers.’