We're Not Bitter about Merger, Says Brewer
Fuller Smith & Turner - the brewer of London Pride bitter - is buying family-run rival George Gale & Co for pounds 82.7 million in cash.
The merger will twin Fuller's 160-year-old London-based business of 242 pubs and a brewery with the 158-year-old Gales, which has a brewery and 111 pubs in England's southern counties.
"We're buying 111 high-quality pubs, and there are hardly any that we would offload," said Fuller's chief executive, Michael Turner.
Fuller said the 4,421pence-per-share offer was at a ten-per-cent premium to the most recently traded Gales share price and would enhance earnings for Fuller's in the first full financial year.
"They also have a very good brewery with some very good brands, in particular HSB," Mr Turner added. "At 4.8 per cent it fits in very well between our own London Pride at 4.1 per cent and ESB at 5.5 per cent."
Gale's chairman, Charles Brims, said: "Although it is always sad when a long-established family business decides to sell, I am confident that this decision is right. …