Breal Capital, the UK private-equity firm that recently purchased Black Sheep Brewery out of administration, is lining up moves for ailing south London breweries Brew By Numbers and Brick Brewery.

Filings on Companies House reveal the incorporation of two companies with links to Breal Capital.

Breal Capital (Brick B) Holdings Ltd was incorporated on 30 May, with Neil Gostelow – an investment partner at Breal – named its director.

A separate company – BBN Brewing Ltd – was set up on 15 May. Its director, Brent Osborne, is Breal’s founder.

Just Drinks understands Breal was not the investor referenced by Brew By Numbers when it said a deal to save the brewery was near completion last month.

Writing at the time, Brew By Numbers founder Tom Hutchings said the prospective new owners were known to the business.

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“We have known these investors for several years, and they are all passionate about our brewery and eager to keep our team at the Greenwich site to continue brewing exciting and tasty craft beers,” he said. “This will mean BBNo remains independent, whilst also aiming to keep our crowdfunding investors involved in our future.”

The brewery first filed a notice of intent (NOI) to appoint administrators on 5 May.  

Scant is known about Breal Capital and its plans for Black Sheep and the two London breweries it is seeking to acquire.

Just Drinks approached the firm about the incorporation of the two companies, and for more detail on its plans in beer, but did not receive a response.

The company, which was founded in 2013 by Osborne and Alan McLaren, describes itself as a “multi-disciplinary equity, lending and advisory services family”.

In a release announcing Gostelow’s appointment in 2022, Breal said the former KPMG man – who is also a qualified insolvency practitioner – would be “responsible for identifying potential acquisition opportunities” at the private equity firm.  

The news of Breal’s interest in Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers comes as it was revealed by Propel the private-equity firm paid a total of around £5m to acquire Black Sheep Brewery.

According to a report by administrators Teneo, Black Sheep Brewery had been loss-making since FY20 and had made an Ebitda loss of £1.6m in FY23.

Subsequently, following a failed equity raise in late 2022, the business filed notices of intent to appoint administrators and was eventually sold in a pre-pack deal to Breal.

The firm paid £5m for Black Sheep Brewery and £10,000 for its retail arm.

Craft breweries in the UK have struggled in the last twelve months and rising energy and raw material costs, coupled with a competitive trading environment and soaring rents, have led many to close their doors.

In December, Somerset outfit The Wild Beer Co. entered administration after falling victim to trading woes at home and abroad. The brand was later revived by Kent’s Curious Brewery but the majority of the company’s staff were laid off.

Other breweries to have closed this year include Alphabet Brewing Co. and Bad Seed Brewery.