Family-owned Welsh brewer SA Brain & Co has handed over the operation of 156 bars to Marston’s, creating 1,300 jobs, after the coronavirus pandemic threatened to shut them down.
Brains, whose bars are mainly found in the south and west Wells, He said it was subjected to “significant financial pressure” during the pandemic, as restrictions mean that bars must remain closed except for takeaway and delivery.
The company completely shut down the bar’s estate on December 4 after the alcohol ban was announced 6 pm locked down all over Wales To try to contain the worsening Covid-19 outbreak. Brynes said that remaining open under these restrictions “is not a viable option”.
Founded in 1882 in Cardiff, SA Brain & Co has become The largest beer maker and pub in Wales While it remains under the family’s ownership. John Reese, the company’s chairman who oversaw the deal, is the grandson of founder Samuel Arthur Breen.
Before the pandemic, the bars included in the deal were making £ 14m a year in base profits. Marston’s will take over the bars in February, most of them under 25-year leases from Brains. The annual rent for the bars was £ 5.5 million.
The bars will be operated under the Brains brand, and will continue to sell their own beer, which is brewed at a facility in Cardiff Bay that opened in March 2019. Prior to that, Brains was made in Breweries in Cardiff city center.
Rees said: “We know and trust that Marston is excellent custodians of our bars, and although this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we are confident that our pubs and pub teams will thrive under her supervision.
“Moreover, this deal enables Brains to recapitalize its balance sheet and to continue its long legacy as an independent entity, preserving these great Welsh businesses for future generations.”
Marston’s, formerly known as Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries until 2007, operates around 1,400 bars across the UK, including 106 in Wales. 1,300 Brains pubs will move to Marston’s, which employs an additional 14,000 people across the UK.
Marston CEO Ralph Findlay said the deal would be mutually beneficial and that it “strengthens our representation in South and West Wales, while protecting the heritage and independence of the famous Wells company.”
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