The future of North Brewing Co has been secured following a sale out of administration to Steve Holt of Kirkstall Brewery.
Howard Smith and Rick Harrison of Interpath Advisory were appointed Joint Administrators of North Brewing Company Limited, North Brewing Leisure and North Brewing Management Limited on 25 January 2024.
Based in Leeds, the Group traded under the ‘North Brewing’ brand, and supplied several supermarkets and casual dining chains nationally, as well as exporting to 27 countries worldwide, trading through its own taprooms and bars and selling to pubs and bars across the country either directly or via beer wholesalers.
In line with many companies within the hospitality sector, Covid-19 had a materially adverse impact upon the Group’s financial performance, as Government restrictions forced the business to close for extended periods of time between 2020 and 2022. In more recent months, the Group had also faced rising costs including energy, labour, and raw materials, which had an impact on cashflow.
In response to this, the Directors sought to explore a number of options, including a sale of the business. When it became clear a solvent solution could not be found, they took steps to file for the appointment of administrators.
Immediately following their appointment, the joint administrators sold the businesses and its assets to Vertical Drinks Limited and Kirkstall Brewery Limited (as part of one transaction). The transaction safeguards the future of the brewery in Leeds, as well as the North Taproom bars in Leeds and Manchester. A total of 78 members of staff have transferred to the purchaser as part of the deal.
North Brewing Co will continue to be an independent brewery operating from its Springwell site and will be run by the existing management team. The new company will be known as Vertical Drinks Ltd T/A North.
The transaction does not include the North Taproom in Birmingham, which will close, resulting in 15 redundancies.
Tom Swiers, head of food and drink at Interpath Advisory who advised North Brewing Co on the transaction, said: “North Brewing Co is a renowned craft brewer that has forged an excellent reputation over the years for the quality and innovation of its beers.
“We are pleased to have completed this transaction which represents an exciting tie up of brilliant beer brands based here in Leeds. The deal will allow the Group to move forward under new ownership and we wish the purchaser and the management team all the best for the future.
“We’d also like to thank our advisors for their work in helping drive this transaction to a successful conclusion.”
The joint administrators were advised by Charles Boyne, Kiri Hutton and Shauna-Leigh Thompson at Weightmans, with the purchaser being advised by Daniel McCormack and David Smyllie at Lupton Fawcett.