In a deal said to be worth more than $500 million, the Fermentum Group – creators of Stone & Wood brewery – have sold to Lion. Subject to approval from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Lion’s acquisition will take the entire portfolio of brands including Two Birds, Fixation, Little Drago and Sunly Seltzer.
There had been rumours for much of this year that Fermentum was considering a listing on the ASX to fund future growth and the construction of a $50 million brewery in Murwillimbah on the New South Wales North Coast. Stone & Wood was founded in 2008 near Byron Bay. Its stable now represents about one per cent of the Australian beer market.
In an open letter on Stone & Wood’s website, founders Jamie Cook, Brad Rogers, and Ross Jurisich said they had spent months working out what the next chapter of the business would look like.
“The founding families decided it might be time to see if there was a custodian for the business who could grow the legacy, its people, its culture, its brands, and continue to drive the business whilst staying true to its purpose.
“Not only did Lion welcome these ideas with enthusiasm, but on top of that they demonstrated they had similar values and a focus on environmental and social governance aligned to our approach to using ‘Beer as a Force for Good’,” the trio said.
Lion managing director James Brindley said the brands and values of Fermentum Group made the deal attractive.
“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.
“We want to grow what they’ve started, giving their people and beers even more reach across the country,” Brindley said.
The environmental and social governance synergies between the companies will see Lion backing the Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Fixation breweries to go carbon neutral.