UK: 152-Year-Old Adnams Brewery Seeks Support Amid Economic Challenges

Adnams, a family-owned 152-year-old brewery based in Southwold/Suffolk, has enlisted Alvarez & Marsal, known for turnaround management, to explore funding options for survival and future growth, per the Guardian. The company aims to enhance resilience in light of recent industry challenges.

“As a business of more than 150 years, and ever mindful of the challenges faced by the hospitality and brewing industries in recent times, the company is continually proactive in seeking ways to ensure that the business is even more resilient for the years to come,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

Operating losses of Adnams widened to GBP 2.4 million (USD 3m) in the first half of 2023, compared to GBP 811,000 (USD 1m) in 2022, with revenues remaining stagnant at GBP 30 million (USD 38m), as reported in September.

Potential funding avenues include private capital from high net worth investors or family offices, and the sale of some of Adnams' freehold assets from its estate of 45 managed inns and properties.

In order to revitalize its own ailing business, the traditional brewer has expanded in recent years into gin, beer, and tourism ventures like Southwold Lighthouse Tours. So far, the founding family remains the largest shareholder which could change in the future.

In a challenging hospitality climate exacerbated by the pandemic, the brewing industry in the UK has suffered and undergone significant changes. Black Sheep, based in Yorkshire, was acquired by investment firm Breal for about GBP 5 million (USD 6.3m) last year. Breal has since taken over struggling firms like Purity Brewing Company in Warwickshire, Brick Brewery in south London, and Brew by Numbers. Similarly, Leeds-based North Brewing Co faced administration last month but was rescued by Steve Holt, director of fellow brewery Kirkstall Brewery.

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