North Brewing Co (2)

North Brewing has run into financial distress owing to Covid, Brexit, spiralling raw material costs and interest rate rises

Breal Group – the owner of Purity Brewing, Black Sheep Brewery, Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers – has denied it is interested in purchasing North Brewing, should the Yorkshire craft brewer enter administration

The London private equity firm issued a short statement on Tuesday (23 January) claiming it had “no interest in acquiring the North Brewing Co or its assets out of administration”. 

The denial comes after documents filed at Companies House revealed Breal Captial (104) Limited, a company registered to Breal Group’s London headquarters, had this week changed its name to North B Co Limited.

The company’s nature of business is listed as ‘manufacture of beer’ and ‘wholesale of wine, beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages’.

Its director, Michael Welden, is also the director of PBC Brewing Limited, the company used by Breal to acquire Purity Brewing Co in December 2023.

Breal Group has completed pre-pack administration deals for all four of its previous acquisitions in beer, as well as London-based wine bar group Vinoteca.

All the deals have been completed using companies with names of a similar nature to the business being acquired. 

Approached by The Grocer, North Brewing declined to comment. 

It comes after North revealed last week it needed additional investment to meet existing obligations to creditors.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the Leeds-based brewery filed notices of intent to appoint administrators on 15 January.

Subsequently, co-founder Christian Townsley said North’s management was “currently working with advisors” to find a solution to its financial predicament.

Townsley declined to give concrete detail on the extent of North’s debt obligations, but cited “the turbulence of Covid, Brexit, material cost increases, cost of living crisis and interest rate rises” as reasons why additional funding was required to secure its future.

“Due to the commercial nature of the discussions, we can’t say more but will keep you updated as soon as we can share further details,” he added.

North Brewing – founded in 2015 by Townsley and John Gyngell – opened a new £2.3m brewery and taproom in Leeds in 2020. Its beers are stocked nationally with Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.