"We've been around for almost 300 years - we never rush things" - Interview, Aspall Cyder's Henry Chevallier Guild and Molson Coors UK MD Phil Whitehead

Suffolk-based Aspall has been owned by the same family since 1728

Suffolk-based Aspall has been owned by the same family since 1728

Molson Coors has announced its purchase of UK cider producer Aspall, four months after a transaction between the two was originally mooted.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, was confirmed on Saturday. Aspall, which has been owned by the Chevallier family since its creation in 1728, will subsequently see its range of premium cider brands join the Molson Coors stable.

Last year, media reports in the UK linked Molson Coors to a move for Aspall. At the time, a spokesperson for Aspall declined to comment to just-drinks on the claims.

"The Chevalliers have been producing cyder for almost 300-years and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio," said Phil Whitehead, MD of Molson Coors UK & Ireland. "We're now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cyder in the UK … as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio."

Members of the family will remain part of the business and "will play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall", Molson Coors noted.

Aspall chairman Barry Chevallier Guild said the company has "been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year".

"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," Chevalier Guild added.

Seven years ago, Molson Coors spent GBP20m (then-US$32.4m) on Cornwall-based Sharp's Brewery, the owner of the Doom Bar cask beer brand. In mid-2015, just-drinks exclusively revealed that Molson Coors had shifted the brewing of the bottled version of Doom Bar to its central UK brewery in Burton.

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