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Mon 20th Jun 2016 - Revealed – SABMiller paid circa £120m to buy Meantime
Revealed – SABMiller paid circa £120m to buy Meantime: The SABMiller annual report has revealed the extraordinary multiple the brewer paid for Greenwich craft brewer Meantime in May last year. The annual report states SABMiller paid $191m to buy Meantime, which works out at £120m in sterling terms based on the exchange rate at the time. The figure is way in excess of acquisition estimates by observers of about £50m at the time. Projected annual turnover and Ebitda for 2015 at Meantime at the point of purchase in May 2015 are not in the public domain but annual accounts filed by Meantime Brewing Company for the year to 31 December 2014 reported turnover rose 44.8% to £16.67m in the year with consolidated Ebitda of £2.46m, up 94.2% against 2013. Pre-tax profit rose to £1,544,430 from £571,644 the year before. Ironically, SABMiller’s interests in Meantime, Grolsch and Peroni have been sold to Japanese brewer Asahi as part of the moves by AB InBev to win regulatory approval for its purchase of SABMiller. At the time of the Meantime acquisition, Sue Clark, managing director of SABMiller Europe, said: “Meantime has been at the forefront of the modern craft beer movement in the UK and brews an outstanding range of beers across a variety of styles. At SABMiller we love local variety, and carefully nurture our 200 local and heritage beers. Meantime, born in a city with a rich beer heritage, will be a special new addition to the SABMiller family. Nick Miller, Alastair Hook and their team have built a strong sense of pride and identity within Meantime, which has an excellent reputation for brewing consistently high quality beers and for industry-leading innovation. This expertise will boost our strategy to develop beers that appeal to more people, including women, and which can be attractive alternatives to wine and spirits.” Volumes of beer sales at Meantime grew by 58% in 2014, outpacing the UK beer market’s 1% growth during the same period and making it one of the top-performing modern craft breweries in the UK. Among Meantime’s award-winning lagers and ales are its leading brand London Pale Ale, London Lager and Yakima Red. London Pale Ale and London Lager together account for about 70% of total volumes. Meantime was scheduled to open a pilot brewery that would have become a centre for SABMiller’s European innovation and new product development. The acquisition included Meantime’s retail sites, including the Tasting Rooms and the brewery shop in Greenwich, the Greenwich Union pub, pop-up Beerbox pub, and the Brewery Fresh tank beer concept, which was in 26 pubs across London at the time, complementing SABMiller’s Pilsner Urquell unpasteurised tank beer in a further four London pubs. The financial terms of the transaction were not revealed at the time. Sapient Corporate Finance advised Meantime on the sale process.

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