Beverage giant Lion acquires Stone & Wood owner Fermentum

Iconic Australian craft beer brand Stone & Wood has today changed hands after beverage giant Lion acquired the brewer’s parent company Fermentum Group.

The acquisition will see Stone & Wood join Lion’s growing portfolio of craft brands which also includes Little Creatures and New Belgium Brewing in beer as well as distillers Four Pillars and Luxury Spirits.

The entire Fermentum family join Lion’s stable post-acquisition, which includes Stone & Wood, Two Birds, Fixation, Little Dragon, and Sunly Seltzer.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, the process for which has already commenced.

“We have a shared vision of ‘Brewing as a Force for Good’. Lion is Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer and we will be backing the Stone & Wood, Two Birds and Fixation breweries to go carbon neutral as well. There are lot of areas where we can learn from each other,” Lion Australia managing director James Brindley said.

“The Fermentum business will continue to be a unique player in the drinks industry and we are excited about the opportunities for growth ahead.”

Fermentum co-founder and chairman Jamie Cook said the combination of timing and finding the right custodian to take the business forward made this the natural next step for the parent.

“After an extensive strategic review exploring options to set us up for future growth, we decided to test the waters on whether now was the right time for the founding families to find a custodian to grow Fermentum’s legacy, its people, its culture and its brands, and continue to drive the business forward whilst staying true to its purpose,” Cook said.

“We only looked for a custodian who would be committed to building the brewery and to support our work in the community. Not only did Lion welcome these ideas with enthusiasm, they demonstrated they have similar values and a focus on Environmental and Social Governance aligned to our “Force for Good” approach.

“Lion’s custodianship of Little Creatures, Four Pillars and New Belgium demonstrates they in fact learn from new businesses, and grow their impact and reach.”

The acquisition price for Fermentum was not disclosed by Lion.

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