National law firm, Freeths LLP, has advised Carlsberg on its recent deal with Marston’s plc to form a new joint venture beer company in the UK, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC). The joint venture unites two historic brewers with over 300 years of shared heritage and values and a portfolio of international, national and regional beer brands. Carlsberg UK is the majority shareholder, owning 60% of the equity.
Following exchange and announcement in May 2020, and subsequent shareholder and regulatory approvals, the transaction completed at the end of October 2020.
Corporate Partners, Keith Gilbert and Emily Settle, and Real Estate Partner, Emna Sfar-Gandoura, led the cross-service line transaction team at Freeths, co-counselling alongside the Norton Rose Fulbright transaction team, led by Claire O’Donnell, and Carlsberg’s in-house legal team including Jeremy Brown, Andreas Bernhard-Kirk and Matthias Restorff.
Both companies have injected brewing and distribution assets into the joint venture including Carlsberg’s Northampton and London Fields breweries and national distribution centre, as well as Marston’s six national and regional breweries – Marston’s in Burton Upon Trent; Banks’s in Wolverhampton; Wychwood in Witney, Oxfordshire; Jennings in Cockermouth, Cumbria; Ringwood in Hampshire; and Eagle in Bedford – and 11 UK-wide distribution depots.
Under the terms of the transaction, CMBC have access to Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio via a long-term supply and distribution agreement.