Lion and the Fermentum Family of Businesses have agreed a deal which sees Lion take 100 per cent of Fermentum and all brands within the group.
Those brands include flagship brand Stone & Wood and Two Birds, Fixation, Little Dragon and Sunly Seltzer. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, the process for which has commenced.
Lion said it will continue Fermentum’s commitment to building the new brewery in Murwillumba, as well as around $6m in local donations. Lion Managing Director James Brindley also said Lion will be backing Fermentum to grow further and continue its positive impact in the community.
“We have huge respect for what Jamie Cook, Brad Rogers, Ross Jurisich and the team have created; great beer, wonderful brands, spiritual homes in their breweries and tap rooms, an inclusive culture and a commitment to the community,” Brindley said.
“We want to grow what they’ve started, giving their people and beers even more reach across the country.
“We have a shared vision of ‘Brewing as a Force for Good’. Lion is Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer and we will be backing the Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Fixation breweries to go carbon neutral as well. There are lot of areas where we can learn from each other.
“The Fermentum business will continue to be a unique player in the drinks industry and we are excited about the opportunities for growth ahead.”
Fermentum Co-Founder and Chairman Jamie Cook said the business had decided to look at various options for growth, and that Lion’s work with brands like Little Creatures, Four Pillars and New Belgium gave the team confidence in Fermentum’s future.
“After an extensive strategic review exploring options to set us up for future growth, we decided to test the waters on whether now was the right time for the founding families to find a custodian to grow Fermentum’s legacy, its people, its culture and its brands, and continue to drive the business forward whilst staying true to its purpose,” Cook said.
“We only looked for a custodian who would be committed to building the brewery and to support our work in the community. Not only did Lion welcome these ideas with enthusiasm, they demonstrated they have similar values and a focus on Environmental and Social Governance aligned to our “Force for Good” approach.
“Lion’s custodianship of Little Creatures, Four Pillars and New Belgium demonstrates they in fact learn from new businesses, and grow their impact and reach.”
Lion said it now plans to “unleash Fermentum’s full growth potential” as it takes the business into its next chapter, while working to maintain the values central to its business ethos.
Tomorrow, The Shout will bring you further reaction from both Lion and Fermentum on this deal.