CMA approves Carlsberg Marston’s merger

A merger between Marston’s Brewery and Carlsberg UK has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Despite its greater valuation of £580 million to Carlsberg’s £200 million, Marston’s will hold a 40% stake in the combined company. 

However, alongside the equity portion of the deal, Marston’s will also receive a £273m cash consideration from upon completion of the deal. 

Tomasz Blawat, managing director of Carlsberg UK, said: “We welcome the decision by the [CMA] and wish to put on record our thanks to them for the thoroughness of their work in recent months. 

“Today’s decision is a significant milestone in the formation of the new company, which we believe will create significant value for employees, customers and beer-drinkers in the UK, and we look forward to moving to the next stage on this journey.”

The joint firm will be named Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC). The venture is expected to create annual cost efficiencies of roughly £24m within three years.

The merger is set to be completed by the end of October.

However, the deal has been met with concern about the “dominance” of “pub companies and global suppliers” from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Nik Antona, national chairman, said: “We are increasingly concerned with the dominance of global brewing brands in the UK beer market and the impact this has on consumer choice. 

“This joint venture is the latest in a series of merger and acquisition activity which has seen many styles and brands disappear since the early 2000s.”

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