Marston’s is to buy the Charles Wells brewing arm for £55 million it was announced this morning.
The Charles Wells pub business is not included in the sale but it means Bombardier, Courage and McEwans will now belong to Marston's, along with the distribution rights for Kirin lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders.
Marston's will also gain the global license for the Young's beer brand and Cockburn & Campbell, the Charles Wells wine arm, will also transfer as part of the deal.
Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay said that the company was, "absolutely committed to the future of brewing in Bedford."
The Charlie Wells and John Bull beer brands will remain part of Charles Wells Ltd, which will also build a new, small brewery in Bedford to supply beers to its pubs.
In the interim a supply agreement will be made with Marston's to supply beer to Charles Wells pubs, which will also have longer term access to Marston's wider beer and wine range.
"Today's announcement signals an exit from higher volume national sales in favour of a more local and smaller scale brewing future in Bedford," said Charles Wells chief executive, Justin Phillimore.
"The key focus will become the expansion of the managed pub businesses in the UK and France through acquisition, alongside additional investment in the leased and tenanted estate."