Luke Johnson-led private equity company buys Curious Brewery

26 April 2021 by
Luke Johnson-led private equity company buys Curious Brewery

Risk Capital Partners (RCP) has marked the completion of its purchase of Curious Brewery by appointing a new management team to lead the business into the next phase in its development.

Former Liberation Group chief executive Mark Crowther (pictured above, middle) and former UK head of Budweiser Budvar Simon George (pictured left) have joined the business as chairman and managing director, respectively. They will take the business forward following its acquisition by RCP, the private equity firm led by Luke Johnson, from English wine company Chapel Down.

Johnson said: "We are delighted to be working with Mark and Simon, who together bring an enormous wealth of experience and expertise, adding immense value to this business. I couldn't think of two better people to help unleash the potential for Curious Brewery, and we're looking forward to supporting them as they get stuck in."

Crowther said: "This is a high-quality business with a great group of people, an exceptional, premium range of superb beers and ciders, and an extraordinary, market-leading set up with its state-of-the-art brewery, and accompanying tap room and restaurant. Now, with the support of RCP, it has one of the most experienced and supportive sector-specialist investors in the market, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with them, and to support the team as we embark on this exciting new phase."

George said: "I am tremendously excited to be involved in this unique opportunity. We see enormous potential to build this business and we are going to work very hard to ensure this fantastic collection of premium beers and ciders are available, enjoyed and shared in more places, across the UK and internationally."

The change of ownership follows a multimillion-pound development of the new brewery in 2019. Located in Ashford, Kent, it was constructed alongside a visitor centre and a 120-cover bar and restaurant. The deal will be followed with planned investments in a new bottling and canning line, as well as increased support for the sales and marketing functions. As well as acquiring the brand and assets, the deal will see all staff move across to the new set up.

RCP previously backed Laine's Pub Co and Draft House pubs.

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