Suffolk-based Aspall cider sold to US beer giant Molson Coors
PUBLISHED: 12:24 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 08 January 2018
A Suffolk cider brand with more than 300 years of family history has been sold to a US beer giant.
Aspall, which operates from a single site in the Suffolk parish, near Debenham, has been snapped up by Molson Coors in a deal believed to be worth around £40million, including debt.
US firm Molson Coors, which owns brands including Carling and Miller, said it would invest in the Suffolk site where Aspall also has a vinegar business.
Rumours of a possible deal involving a number of industry giants had been circulating among residents living close to the site since the start of 2017.
Last month, company chairman Barry Chevallier Guild was remaining tight-lipped about a possible deal with the US company when he spoke to the EADT.
Members of the family, which have run the business for more than 20 years after it was first started by their ancestor Clement Chevallier at Aspal Hall in 1728, will continue to play a role in the company.
Volume of cider sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016.
Mr Chevallier Guild said: “This is an important milestone in Aspall’s long history and a proud day for everyone involved with the company.
“Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cider and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people.
“Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond.”
Henry Chevallier Guild said: “We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”
Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio. Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence.
“We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cider in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”
Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in the Suffolk village.