Fuller’s sells beer business to Asahi for £250m
Fuller, Smith & Turner has accepted a £250m offer for its entire drinks business from Asahi, including its flagship London Pride ale and the Griffin brewery, its “spiritual home” in London. Beer has been flowing at the Griffin brewery since the late 1600s and it currently employs about 400 staff.
Fuller’s has three relatives of the Victorian brewing barons John Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner on its board and said it decided to quit the brewing business after 174 years to concentrate on running pubs and hotels.
Fuller’s leisure division delivers nearly 90% of its profits. The sale of its brewing, wholesaling and distribution operations will free up management to focus on its 182 pubs and more than 200 hotels.
Tokyo-based Asahi is the world’s seventh largest brewer. It owns Japan’s top-selling beer, Asahi Super Dry, and in 2016 bought the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands for £2bn.
Asahi’s latest acquisition also includes Fuller’s other drinks operations, Dark Star Brewing, Cornish Orchards and Nectar Imports.