Asahi to buy Fuller’s beer business for £250 million

Fuller’s is to sell its entire beer business to the European arm of Japanese brewer Asahi.

In a deal which values the division at £250 million, the London-based brewer will sell the production and distribution of its well-known beers including flagship drink London Pride.

It includes the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, where the company was founded in 1845.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said that protecting the heritage of the site was “particularly important” to the deal.

“We remain incredibly proud of the Fuller’s Beer Business, its history and the high quality premium beer and cider portfolio that we have developed,” he said.

“Brewing has formed an integral part of our history and brand identity, however the core of Fuller’s and the driver of our future growth is now our premium pubs and hotels business.”

Although Fuller’s will retain ultimate ownership of its brand name, Asahi will hold the global licence to use the trademark.

Akiyoshi Koji, chief executive of Asahi, said there was “untapped international potential” in the London Pride brand which the company can use its global scale to unlock.

The announcement came as Fuller’s released a trading update showing a 4.7% rise in like-for-like sales in its managed pubs and hotels over the 42 weeks to January 19.