Wells & Young's could be forced to make redundancies after losing key brands Corona and Red Stripe, chairman Paul Wells has admitted.

The Bradford brewer will lose UK distribution rights for Corona to Molson Coors in January after 15 years, while Red Stripe owner Diageo will reclaim its brand next August.

"The work starts here," said Wells. From the end of December we will no longer be importing Corona and will have a gap in our sales turnover.

"We think some sales and marketing roles will go to the new distributor, but after that there may be some redundancies. We will look at our costs across the whole company to minimise them and any redundancies."

Wells insisted it was "too early" to talk about the impact losing Red Stripe might have. Wells & Young's not only distributes, but also brews Red Stripe and is hoping to continue to do so even though the management of the brand will return to Diageo, according to a source close to the deal.

"It would make no sense for Diageo to stop them from brewing Red Stripe," said the source. "They don't have a brewery in the UK, so Wells & Young's hopes it will keep the brewing side."