Fuller, Smith & Turner (Fuller) sold all its brewing business to Japanese company Asahi for a business value of £ 250 million (about $ 330 million). The agreement would allow Fuller to reach a net amount of approximately £ 205 million (approximately $ 270.5 million) if the proposed transaction were to obtain the necessary shareholder approval and comply with the regulations. If the loss of an iconic brewer could be a blow to London pride, the flagship beer of the Fuller’s Brewery, brewed since 1958 at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, West London since 1958, however, raised a glass.
Asahi Acquisition Journey
The Japanese firm, which inherited its brewing heritage in 1889 at the opening of its first brewery, was founded in Osaka (under the name of Osaka Brewing Company). It has undoubtedly spread in European breweries and European shopping frenzy. In Europe, AEL has established a portfolio of iconic premium beers, including Grolsch, Peroni, and Mean time, following the acquisition of these brands and related SABMiller activities at AB InBev in October 2016. They also agreed to acquire five brands of beer from Eastern Europe – including Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic, the legendary nicknamed the world’s first golden pilsner beer, produced for the first time on 5 October 1842 in Pilsen. 7.3 billion euros (£ 6.1 billion) in December 2016. At that time, it was Asahi’s largest acquisition to date, and in Europe, of its second largest market. Until now, Asahi has left the brewing style of Pilsner Urquell alone in terms of taste.
The Reasons behind Fuller’s Acceptance of the Sale
But you have to wonder why Fuller’s has decided to sell its brewery business, a family brewer for over 100 years, and to Asahi, a brand known for its tasteless beers. For beer lovers, this has been a shock and many have expressed their anger on social media and elsewhere. Jackie Parker, President of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said that it was a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name leave the brewing business. A representative of Czech Trade based in London, an agency of the Czech Republic based at the Notting Hill embassy, said they were also saddened to learn the sale of Fuller.
It was not just because of the fact that he lived in Chiswick, said the executive. But Fuller’s management has recently made efforts to get involved in the Czech beer scene at its annual Beer Days. London, the city in which famous brands like Courage, Charrington, Truman, Watney, and Whitbread, with this last agreement, will no longer have brewers belonging to local interests.
In retrospect, when Young & Co completely stopped brewing in 2011 after selling its Ram Brewery based in Wandsworth (2006) in South London, Fuller issued a statement in which they said that they had been brewing for 350 years and would like to go on for 350 more. Fuller’s, in which the family controls about half of the shares, has a good deal. Asahi gives equal attention to twice the value estimated by the majority of analysts. With a cash flow of 23 times generated by the company, it is considered high by the standard.
The proposed divestment, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, is subject to the adoption of two ordinary, inter-conditional resolutions approving the transaction upon completion of the reorganization and obtaining a relevant confirmation from the UK Competition and Markets Authority. The reorganization refers to a reorganization of the company by Fuller to transfer certain assets and liabilities of the beer business that are held by Fuller to The Fuller’s Beer Company Ltd. Rothschild & Sons Limited (Rothschild & Co), which is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, acts exclusively for Fuller and none else in connection with the proposed transaction.