Magic Rock craft brewer sold to Australian firm

Date:6th September 2014, picture James Hardisty, (JH1005/04a) Leeds International Beer Festival held at Leeds Town Hall. Pictured Mike Wallis, pulling a pint of Salty Kiss on the Magic Rock stand.
Date:6th September 2014, picture James Hardisty, (JH1005/04a) Leeds International Beer Festival held at Leeds Town Hall. Pictured Mike Wallis, pulling a pint of Salty Kiss on the Magic Rock stand.
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Yorkshire craft beer firm Magic Rock has been sold to Australian firm Lion for an undisclosed sum.

Lion has acquired 100 per cent of the Huddersfield brewery which employs 45 people.

Co-founder and managing director Richard Burhouse will remain actively involved within the business going forward.

Magic Rock is already in more than 25 countries worldwide and over time it sees opportunities for to further grow this footprint with the support of Lion.

It currently represents around a 5 per cent share of the global volume of craft beer.

Meanwhile Lion is already active in the UK and Europe, selling a range of Australian and New Zealand craft beers, such as Little Creatures and Panhead, plus New Zealand fine wines.

A spokesperson said that Lion is committed to supporting Magic Rock to fuel its next phase of growth, investing to build its brand.

Founded by Richard Burhouse and head brewer Stuart Ross in 2011, within its first year of operations, Magic Rock was voted second best new brewery in the world (2012) in independent rating site RateBeer.com’s Top New Breweries awards.

Lion Global Markets managing director, Matt Tapper, said: “Magic Rock has been one the pioneers in the UK craft beer scene and has built a loyal following due to its relentless pursuit of authenticity and quality. We’re excited to have the opportunity to help Richard and the team build on their success.

“Lion has a long and proud history in craft beer in Australia and New Zealand and we see some great opportunities to help put Magic Rock into the hands of more beer lovers.”

Magic Rock co-founder and managing director, Richard Burhouse, said: “With the support of the beer community, in eight years Magic Rock has become one of the UK’s leading craft brewers, distributing across the UK, as well as internationally.

“The best way for us to build on this legacy over the long term is to introduce Magic Rock beers to a much wider audience. We’re excited to be joining one of the world’s best brewing experts under the shared promise to keep making great beer, on a bigger scale, through their knowledge, expertise and investment.”

Magic Rock was advised by KPMG Corporate Finance (Christian Mayo and Rob Baxter) and KPMG Legal (Ed Bartlett).

Christian Mayo, who leads KPMG’s Corporate Finance practice in Yorkshire, said: “This deal is an indication of the coming-of-age of the craft beer sector. After significant expansion in craft beer brewing and consumption, consolidation is a sure sign of a maturing sector. It’s extremely pleasing to advise on a sale like this one, where a strong platform for further growth, under Lion’s ownership, is a key objective.”