The London-based brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner is to acquire the Hampshire beer maker Gale's in a GBP91.8m deal.

Gale's chairman, Charles Brims, said he had accepted the bid because of the anticipated negative impact on trading expected from the imminent ban on smoking in pubs. Increased competition made it difficult for small brewers to expand, Brims said.

"We're sad that it's the end of an era as an independent family brewer, but it's a very good deal," Brims said.

The deal is expected to result in GBP3m in cost savings for the merged group. It has also been suggested that Fuller's may decide to close the Gale's brewery at Horndean. However, Fuller's said it planned to conduct a comprehensive review of the business before reaching a decision.

Gale's brews the HSB, Festival Mild and Butser Bitter brands.