Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery has announced the acquisition of fellow West Country brewer and pub company, Bath Ales Limited.
The deal, which has been completed for an undisclosed amount, includes The Bath Ales brewery, situated between Bath and Bristol, its portfolio of beer brands and its 11-strong pub estate.
James Staughton, Chief Executive, St Austell Brewery, said: “For a long time Bath Ales has been a company I have admired and this exciting acquisition provides the coming together of two like-minded businesses.
“Bath Ales brews great beer and has a thriving pub estate both of which complement those of St Austell Brewery and with the acquisition we are committing to a long-term significant investment in the Bath Ales brands, pub estate, people and brewing facilities. We already operate a successful free trade business across the region, and a wholesale service to free trade customers, which will also bring additional routes to market for Bath Ales’ beers.”
Roger Jones, founder of Bath Ales, added: “This is a really exciting move for Bath Ales. With the investment and broader support from St Austell Brewery we are better placed to capture the opportunity that exists for Bath Ales.
“We are confident that we can also make a strong contribution to their operations so that the combined organisation can really set the standard for quality beers and outstanding venues.”
St Austell Brewery recently announced a strong trading year in the 53-week period to 2 January 2016. Annual turnover rose 7.9% to £137.4m with operating profit increasing 7.6% to £13.5m.
Bath Ales saw its sales grow 7% to £15.6m last year. Sales of its beer brands, led by flagship brand Gem, were up 18%, to more than 20,000 brewer’s barrels (just over 30,000 hectolitres).