Murphy's stout to be brewed in UK
Murphy's Irish Stout is to be brewed and distributed in the UK by Belgian beer combine, Interbrew, following its £400 million sterling (€648 million) acquisition of the Whitbread Beer Company, the brewing business of the Whitbread group.
Assets changing hands include the Magor brewery at Magor, North Wales, where Murphy's has been brewed since 1988 when Whitbread acquired the UK brewing and distribution rights for the Irish stout.
Murphy's enjoyed a period of strong growth in the UK during the mid-1990s but its share of the Irish stout market in Britain has slipped from 13 to 12 per cent over the past year.
For Whitbread, the sale of its brewing business is a critical step in the group's transformation into a focused leisure business.
Bass, the hotels-to-leisure group, is also on the verge of selling Bass Brewers, its brewing business that includes the Ulster Brewery employing 400 people in Belfast.