Charles Wells’ Bedford brewery has been officially purchased by pub operator Martson’s. The transaction was finalized after the two sides agreed to a $55 million price tag. By all accounts, this appears to be a good deal for both Martson’s and Wells. The two companies will now focus on the bright futures of their brands.
The agreement will see Martson’s become the exclusive provider of beverages to more than 1,200 pubs owned by Punch Taverns. Luckily for Martson’s, the deal with Punch will reportedly pay them even if the pubs choose not to stock their products. While acquiring those rights with Punch, Martson’s cannot claim the 200 Charles Wells’ pubs that stretch across the United Kingdom.
Wells had been a fixture in Bedford since it opened its doors in 1876. Wells’ Eagle Brewery is famous for producing their signature ales including the McEwan, Courage, and Bombardier brands. Before the deal was finalized with Martson’s, Wells had reported sales of more than $92 million this year.
Martson’s currently controls more than 1,700 pubs with ownership of several breweries. They have been a staple in the UK since 1834 when Martson & Son was established. The organization has been a big part of the community since its inception; currently serving its Pedigree ale as the official beer of the England Cricket team.
The only concern now for the public is the price tag Martson’s beers may carry. Will the company be able to gauge its customers now that they own such a large portion of the beverage industry in the UK? That is yet to be seen, but based on Martson’s long reputation in the area, that does not seem likely.
As for the future of the Charles Wells, the company is likely to open a smaller, local brewery. They will focus their efforts on continuing to supply their already-contracted pubs. Additionally, the 300 Wells’ employees affected by the sale will be transferred to Martson’s; making this deal a win-win for all parties involved.