Brewery takeover puts 250 jobs at risk

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The sale of Greene King to  CK Asset Holdings has put more than 250 jobs at risk
The sale of Greene King to CK Asset Holdings has put more than 250 jobs at risk

Related tags Drinks

Union bosses are seeking assurances for more than 250 jobs at brewer and pub estate owner Greene King, after a £2.7bn takeover of the company by CK Asset Holdings (CKA) was announced earlier this week.

Workers union Unite has approached management at the brewer to seek reassurances on job security for its members working across the company’s supply chain.

This included brewery production staff, warehouse workers and draymen – a person who delivers beer for a brewery – across Greene King’s headquarters in Bury St Edmonds, as well as distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said the Union hoped to gain a better understanding of the brewery’s future business strategy.

‘Major ramifications’

“This is a major takeover of a well-known British company with a long history in brewing and pub ownership built up over 220 years,”​ said Jaina. “It could have major ramifications for this sector, given the magnitude of the takeover.

“Our first priority is to seek reassurances for our members on future job security, pay and employment conditions. However, we need to study this takeover in much greater detail before commenting further.”

Reportedly owned by the wealthiest family in Hong Kong, CKA already holds a vast stable of UK businesses, including high street pharmacy chain Superdrug and mobile network operator Three.

Commitment to British brewing

In a statement submitted to the London Stock Exchange, Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: “CKA is an experienced UK investor and shares many of Greene King’s business philosophies. They understand the strengths of our business and we welcome their commitment to working with the existing management team, evolving the strategy and investing in the business to ensure its continued long-term growth.”

CKA’s acquisition of Greene King is the second brewer to be bought by an Asian buyer, after Fuller sold its entire beer business to Asahi Europe​– part of Asahi Group Holdings – for £250m in January.

Meanwhile, last week, Unite also called on the Government to provide clarity​ over the potential for a trade deal that could allow US meat products into the country.

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