Brewer and pub operator Marston's has expanded its brewing business with the £19.2m acquisition of southern brewer Ringwood.
The Midlands-based company said while the purchase was consistent with its strategy to buy regional brands to complement the core Marston's Pedigree portfolio it also fitted in with the recent purchase of the Eldridge Pope estate and strengthened its position further in the south of England.
Ringwood also owns seven freehold pubs which will be incorporated into the Marston's Pub Company side of the business.
The brewer, which was founded in 1978, supplies approximately 700 customers in southern England with brands including Ringwood Best Bitter, Old Thumper and Fortyniner.
Alistair Darby, managing director of Marston's beer company, said: "We plan to develop its excellent brands as part of our strategy to meet consumer demand for premium ales with local provenance and heritage."
By Christopher Walton