The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Brothers Beer goes into voluntary administration

Stephen White and John Fisk of PwC New Zealand have been appointed as voluntary administrators of Brothers Beer Holdings Limited, Brothers Beer Limited and Brothers Wholesale Limited (the “Group”) on 7 August 2023.

The Group operates a craft brewery and wholesale business that primarily supplies domestic supermarkets and liquor stores, as well as seven pubs and hospitality outlets across Auckland. Upon appointment of the administrators, it employed approximately 70 staff.

Founded by Anthony Browne and Andrew Larsen in 2012, Browne bought out Larsen six years ago and brought in some new shareholders.

In May this year Browne announced he was selling six Auckland hospitality venues to focus solely on beer.

“In the three or so years preceding COVID-19, Brothers Beer embarked upon a significant expansion programme where the number of hospitality outlets increased from one to six, with a seventh opening since then,” says Administrator, Stephen White.

“The subsequent challenges for the hospitality sector associated with the COVID-19-related lockdowns have been well publicised, and there’s no doubt that these had a significant impact on the Group’s financial position.”

White says their job as administrators will be to work closely with the Group’s key stakeholders to explore whether there’s a restructure solution that will be able to stabilise the Group’s financial position and reposition the business to be sustainable into the future.

“Having been operating for more than 10 years, the Brothers Beer brand is well-established and well-regarded in the sector, so we’re hopeful this can be achieved,” he says.

“However, it is likely that a number of the hospitality outlets will unfortunately have to close.

“At this stage, we can confirm that the Group’s wholesale distribution will continue, and the Mount Eden and Piha venues will remain open during the administration.”

The administrators will be briefing staff and contacting customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the following days to update them on the impact of the administration and outline the process.

“We hope to be in a position to present a credible restructure proposal for creditors to vote on at a watershed meeting within the next month,” says White.

“The objective will be to deliver a better outcome for them than if the Group is simply liquidated.”

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