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Probably one of the biggest deals of lockdown as pub firm Marston’s joins with Carlsberg

PUBLISHED: 15:34 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 22 May 2020

Greenstone in Napier Way, Dereham before lockdown. Pic: Greenstone

Greenstone in Napier Way, Dereham before lockdown. Pic: Greenstone

British brewer Marston’s, with five pubs across Norfolk, has announced a merger with Carlsberg in a £780 million joint venture.

The Cherry Tree, Dereham Road, Norwich. Pic: Archant libraryThe Cherry Tree, Dereham Road, Norwich. Pic: Archant library

It comes just days after Marston’s secured £70 million in government funding to help it survive with its pubs closed because of coronavirus.

Marston’s shut all its 1,350 UK pubs in March including the Cherry Tree, Dereham Road, Norwich, Greenstone, Dereham, Grayling, Yarmouth,, Honeystone in Hunstanton and the Running Horse in Fakenham.

Paul Vials, who runs the Cherry Tree in Norwich, at the pub doing some painting and renovation, said: “I don’t think it will make too much of a difference except it might mean we can sell other Carlsberg products.”

Mr Vials, who took over the pub last August, said he was hopeful the government would let pubs reopen in July. “I’m doing some painting and refreshing the pub which I wouldn’t normally have time to do.”

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The joint venture between Marston’s, based in Wolverhampton and Carlsberg’s UK arm of the firm with Danish roots, will create the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.

Ralph Findlay, CEO of Marston’s, said: “Marston’s strong heritage, extensive distribution platform and established reputation for brewing and logistics excellence, together with Carlsberg UK’s values, long history in beer, brand portfolio and scale, combine the best attributes of both to create a compelling beer business with an outstanding portfolio of global and local beer brands, proven brewing expertise, strong distribution network and wholesale opportunity.”

Tomasz Blawat, MD of Carlsberg UK, said: “We are excited to move into the next phase of our growth strategy.

“Our intent for the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company is for it to become a platform for growth for all of our customers and suppliers, offering a bigger beer portfolio of complementary international, national and regional brands.

“We believe the new business will deliver even more value for employees, customers and consumers, thereby creating greater future growth potential.”

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