Brewery sale plans are shelved

PLANS by the founder of Suffolk-based St Peter's Brewery to sell the business have been shelved, it emerged yesterday.

PLANS by the founder of Suffolk-based St Peter's Brewery to sell the business have been shelved, it emerged yesterday.

John Murphy offered the brewery for sale in August with a price tag in the region of £20 million, citing a need for further investment for the business to move on to its next stage of development.

However, in a statement yesterday the company said: “Despite significant interest and several offers to buy the company, it has been decided, given the strong performance of the company, to take the business forward under independent ownership.

“John Murphy will continue his role as chairman and Colin Cordy will drive the business forward as managing director.”

The company also announced a £250,000 investment to increase capacity at its brewery - at St Peter's South Elmham - by a further 40% to 11,000 barrels (just over three million pints) a year.

Mr Cordy, said: “Sales in 2005 are 36% ahead of last year and would have been even higher if we had more capacity to meet demand.

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“Our export sales have grown strongly again this year with the US performing particularly well. We have also begun selling our beers in five new overseas markets. In the UK we have seen excellent growth considerably ahead of the overall beer market.

“These new developments demonstrate our continuing commitment to build St. Peter's into a major international beer brand,” he added.

A total of 45 people are currently employed at St Peter's Brewery and the associated St Peter's Hall & Restaurant, with one new member of staff having just been taken on in the brewery.