Aspall cider snapped up by Molson Coors
Molson Coors has acquired cider producer Aspall, stating its ambitions to turn the brand into the UK’s top-selling premium cider.
The US beer giant, which owns brands such as Carling and Miller, is thought to have struck a deal valuing the Suffolk-based cider brand at £40m including debt. The family-run ‘cyder’ company, which was founded in 1728, operates from a single site in Aspall, Suffolk, and is run by the Chevallier family.
Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall’s chairman, said the company had been in talks with Molson Coors for more than one year.
He explained: “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.”
Partner, Henry Chevallier Guild, added: “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cider in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner to food. We believe that Molson Coors’ investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”
Molson Coors said it plans to invest in the Suffolk site to expand the cider business as well as Aspall’s vinegar operations.
Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We are 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 are 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.”
In 2011 Molson Coors acquired Sharp’s Brewery, which continues to produce a range of craft beers and ciders from its Cornwall base.
The beer giant also operates brewers in Burton-on-Trent, Tadcaster, Burtonwood and Cork in Ireland.
Members of the Chevallier family will continue to play a role in the Aspall business, according to reports.