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Lion meets Magic: (from left) Lion regional director for the UK Toby Knowles, Magic Rock co-founder and MD Richard Burhouse, Lion Global Markets MD Richard Tapper


BREAKING: Lion makes second UK acquisition, acquires Magic Rock 

Australia’s largest brewer, Lion, has acquired Huddersfield craft brewer Magic Rock.

The deal follows Lion’s takeover of London’s Fourpure Brewing last summer. The purchase price was not disclosed. 

Magic Rock founder and managing director Richard Burhouse, who is contracted to stay with the business for at least four years, promised in a post on the brewer’s website expansion and security for its 45 employees.

“The only changes we foresee are for the better,” he indicated.” Lion is committed to beer production un Huddersfield and there’ll be no cost-cutting.”

Additional units will be leased at the Huddersfield site and a “state of the art automated brewhouse” will be installed, additional tanks will “massively increase” fermenting capacity alongside a new office and laboratory.

“With the help of our distribution partners we want to grow our local, national and international sales,” he said. “We also have long-term plans for additional retail sites.”

Burhouse revealed that talks have been going on between the two companies since last August.

“We are now close to maxing out the capacity of our current brewery,” he went on. “It’s clear that the next expansion will need some deep pockets to provide the equipment we need to take us to the next level.

“While there’s never been a plan to sell the business, we’ve had a number of approaches over the past few years but none of them have felt like a good fit until we started talking with Lion.”

“It’s a move we haven’t taken lightly but it’s one that myself and the other shareholders believe is right for the business.”

Magic Rock was formed by Burhouse and head brewer Stuart Ross in 2011 and has since developed one of the best reputations among the new wave of microbrewers. 

The deal will be welcomed by those who want to see its beers more widely available while others will undoubtedly mourn the loss of another independent brewer.

Phil Mellows
29th March 2019

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