Marston’s to take over the running of SA Brains’ 156 Welsh pubs

Marston’s have announced that they are to take over the running of all of SA Brains’ 156 Welsh pubs, safeguarding around 1,300 jobs.

The move comes shortly after SA Brains closed all of their pubs following the Welsh Government’s alcohol ban.

Marston’s currently has 106 pubs in Wales. The deal will see the 156 Brains pubs continue to operate under the SA Brains name and serve the brewery’s beer.

John Rhys, Chairman of Brains, said: “This agreement marks the formation of a lasting strategic relationship with Marston’s which secures the future of Brains’ pubs and 1,300 of our employees within them. We know and trust Marston’s to be excellent custodians of our pubs and, whilst this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we are confident that both our pubs – and our pubs teams – will thrive under their stewardship.

“Furthermore, this transaction enables Brains to recapitalise its balance sheet and continue its long heritage as an independent entity, preserving this great Welsh business for generations to come. We thank all our stakeholders and our advisers, Evercore, for their steadfast support which has enabled us to achieve this transaction in these unprecedented times.”

Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive of Marston’s, said: “We have worked closely with the management team and the SA Brain family to collaborate on a mutually beneficial transaction that safeguards the future of Wales’ leading pub company, enabling these great pubs to have a stable and successful future, and securing 1,300 hospitality jobs in Wales.

“This transaction is entirely consistent with Marston’s long-term strategy as a focused pub operator and strengthens our representation in South and West Wales, whilst protecting the heritage and independence of an iconic Welsh business.

“These high quality pubs are a great fit with our existing estate and will benefit from Marston’s scale and operational expertise to further unlock their excellent long-term potential. We look forward to the pub teams joining us and to welcoming guests and the communities which they serve, back into these pubs as the country emerges from the pandemic over the weeks and months ahead.”

(Lead image: SA Brain)

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