Jersey-based brewer and pubco Liberation Group is to expand its on-trade and retail footprint in Britain after acquiring Bristol’s Butcombe Brewery.

The merged company will own two breweries, 94 pubs and bars, and retail and wholesale drinks businesses. Liberation said the deal would give it the opportunity to supply Liberation beers to UK pub chains and supermarkets with which Butcombe already has a relationship. Meanwhile, Butcombe beers will become available in the Channel Islands.

“We have been looking for some time for the right UK business to acquire as part of our longer-term growth strategy,” said Liberation Group chief executive Mark Crowther. “The enlarged group provides the perfect bridgehead for further future growth in the UK market.”

Butcombe MD Guy Newell said the business had had interest from a number of pub and drinks companies, but that Liberation Group had been “by far the best fit”.