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Thu 6th Sep 2018 - Update: Marston’s new chairman, Chapel Down expands
Marston’s names William Rucker as new chairman: Marston’s has announced the appointment of William Rucker as chairman with effect from 1 October 2018. William Rucker is chief executive of Lazard in the UK, the NYSE-listed investment bank that is one of the world’s pre-eminent financial advisory and asset management firms. He started his career at Arthur Andersen where he qualified as an accountant. He joined Lazard in 1987, working in the Corporate Finance Group across a broad range of industry sectors with particular expertise in leisure, lodging, real estate and retail. He became chief executive of Lazard London in 2004. Rucker is also currently chairman of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) and a committee member of Cheltenham Racecourse. Previously, he was chairman of Crest Nicholson from 2011 until March 2018; chairman of Quintain Estates and Development from 2009 until 2015; and a non executive director of Rentokil Initial from 2008 until 2013. Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, said: “We are delighted to welcome William Rucker to the board of Marston’s as our chairman and look forward to working with him. William brings with him extensive expertise, having advised a broad range of companies and chaired two publicly quoted companies. His skillset will further strengthen our existing board and add significant value in helping Marston’s to deliver its future growth ambitions.” William Rucker, said: “Marston’s is a well-respected business and a leader in its field which is well placed to capitalise on current sector trends with a leading beer business, a balanced, well invested pub portfolio and growing lodge accommodation business. I look forward to working with the board and wider executive management team to maximise the future opportunities open to the group going forward.”

Chapel Down leases 388 more acres for vines: Chapel Down Group has exchanged on an agreement to lease 388 acres of prime viticultural land adjoining our existing vineyards on the North Downs. This site at Boarley and Abbey Farm in Boxley will be vined between 2019 and 2021 resulting in a total area under long term leases of 788 acres. Once this site is planted, the total vined area from which we source our grapes – including owned land, land under long term leases and contract supply – will exceed 950 acres. The completion of the lease is subject to the Landlord obtaining vacant possession of the land and associated agricultural buildings which is anticipated on or around the 11 October 2018. Chief executive Frazer Thompson said: “This is more exciting news for Chapel Down and the English sparkling wine business. The Boxley site is close to our existing vineyard at Kits Coty and our other recently vined sites at Court Lodge Farm and Street Farm on the North Downs. We believe this area of the North Downs offers the finest terroir in England for sparkling varieties and successive excellent crops and critical acclaim for wines from our Kits Coty vineyard prove it. This will be the largest vineyard in England with the potential to produce up to a million bottles of sparkling wine per annum when mature. The sites will be planted over the coming years to enable us to grow our business to satisfy the increasing demand for Chapel Down wines over the next 25 years.”

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