Wolverhampton & Dudley stays independent

Shareholders reject Pubmaster takeover attempt

Aug 13, 2001 - Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery shareholders have rejected a hostile takeover bid by Pubmaster. Wolves is the largest independent brewer in Britain and owns brands such as Marston's and Banks.


CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, cheered the decision. "This is great news for beer drinkers in the Midlands and for the real ale industry as a whole. We look forward to working with the W&DB board to make sure competition, value and choice continue throughout the midlands," said Mike Benner, Head of Campaigns and Communications.

Pubmaster had begun its battle to acquire Wolves last year after the brewery had received a takeover approach from hotels magnate Robert Breare and his company Noble leisure.

Pubmaster's bid had been fiercely opposed by Wolverhampton & Dudley, which mounted a defense that included plans to sell 170 pubs, including the Pitcher & Piano chain, and to pay back more than 200m to shareholders over the next couple of years.

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