A near 300-year-old family run British cider maker is the latest independent drinks company to be snapped up by a brewing giant.
Molson Coors, the US drinks giant behind Carling and Cobra Beer, has acquired Suffolk's Aspall for an undisclosed sum it was confirmed on Sunday morning.
The deal comes after a year of what Aspall chairman Barry Chevallier Guild described as "close discussions". Other bidders had expressed interest in the company, according to previous reports.
"Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond," he said.
Molson Coors bought Cornwall brewery Sharps, maker of popular cask ale Doombar, in a deal worth £20m in 2011.
“We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio," said Molson Coors managing director for the UK and Ireland Phil Whitehead.
"Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder for almost 300-years and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio. We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cider in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of a need to premiumise our portfolio.”
Aspall's cider and its range of vinegars will continue to be made in Suffolk where it employs 127 people. Members of the Chevalier family, the eighth generation since Aspall was founded, will remain in the business.
UK sales of cider hit £1bn in 2017, a three-year high.