Fuller’s has announced the sale of its beer business, including its iconic Griffin Brewery, to Japanese firm Asahi.
The British brewer, which was founded in 1845, is famous for its flagship ale London Pride. Asahi has said it will use its global scale to bring Fuller’s brands to a new audience.
Fuller’s is one of the oldest beer businesses to be sold to new owners, but it is not the only UK brewery to prove attractive to overseas buyers of late.
International beer giants have invested in a string of British businesses in the past few years, especially as the craft beer boom produced several new players.
These are some of the most recent sales and investments:
Meantime Brewing Company
Asahi already owns this British brand, having bought it from SAB Miller in 2016. The purchase was part of a wider deal struck to remedy competition concerns over AB InBev’s acquisition of SAB and also included UK rights to Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Groslch. It was originally founded in 2000 by Alastair Hook and still has a brewing site in Greenwich.
London Fields Brewery
The East London outfit was sold to Copenhagen-based Carlsberg in 2017. It first opened in 2011, making it the first commercial brewery in Hackney since the 19th century. It relaunched under its new ownership last year, with production due to be moved back to the original site by this year.
Camden Town Brewery
The brewer of Hells Lager, which was founded in 2010, was sold to Belgium’s AB InBev in 2015 for about £85 million. Australian founder Jasper Cuppaidge is still involved with the business and has overseen the purchase of a new £30 million brewing site in Enfield.
Beavertown, known for its Neck Oil and Gamma Ray brews, was founded in 2011 by Logan Plant, the son of Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. Although it is still majority-owned by its founders, the brewery sold a minority stake to Dutch firm Heineken last year.
While the Scottish brewer remains fiercely independent, it took a £100 million investment from US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in 2017 in exchange for around 23% of the company. Brewdog’s equity crowdfunding investors – or “punks” – voted to approve the deal.