Boutique brewery joint venture formed with Hall & Wilcox’s help

Brewing giant partners with an industry pioneer on a new project

Boutique brewery joint venture formed with Hall & Wilcox’s help

Hall & Wilcox has helped form a new joint venture between a beer giant and a pioneer in the Australian beer industry.

The business-law focused firm advised Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), which has formed a boutique brewery joint venture with Phil Sexton, who’s considered one of the founding fathers of craft beer brewing in Australia.

Hall & Wilcox said that the deal is an important expansion for CUB’s existing Matilda Bay label, with the new brewery expected to develop a new range for the label in addition to producing well-known Matilda Bay beers including Redback and Dogbolter.

The parties also intend to convert Sexton’s Giant Steps winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley into a boutique brewery, complete with a pub, which is projected to open as early as the end of this year, the firm said.

The Hall & Wilcox team, which advised on corporate and real estate aspects of the deal, was headed by partner James Morvell. The team included senior associate James Bull and lawyer Vanessa Murphy. Property and special projects special counsel Steve Aitchison also supported the team.

CUB has been party to high-value deals these past few years. Formerly known as Foster’s Group, it was renamed CUB before the takeover by SABMiller back in 2011. SABMiller was then acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) in a $128bn mega-deal in 2016, which netted legal advisers $345.6m in fees.

In August, Asahi Group acquired CUB from AB InBev for $16bn. Allen & Overy advised Asahi, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gilbert + Tobin, and Johnson Winter & Slattery counselled AB InBev. Baker McKenzie advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on financing for that acquisition.

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