Bombardier and Courage owner Wells and Young’s has become the UK’s third largest premium ale brewer after it agreed to buy Scottish brands McEwan’s and Younger’s.
The Bedford-based brewer now sits below Greene King and Marston’s after it bought the popular brands for an undisclosed sum from Heineken, which fell to fourth place following the deal.
Wells, the UK’s largest privately owned brewer, also said it bought the remaining 17% of the Courage beer brands from Heineken, following a deal in January 2007.
McEwan’s ale will continue to be brewed at the Caledonian brewery in Edinburgh, while Younger’s, which was brewed at a number of sites in England, will now be made at Wells’ Bedford site.
The sale comes shortly after Strongbow-to-Amstel brewer Heineken warned volume growth in the US and Europe would be challenging due to the economic climate, high unemployment and low consumer confidence.