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Aspall Cyder ‘exploring options’ to fund growth - but no comment on possible Molson Coors deal

PUBLISHED: 13:11 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:11 11 December 2017

Barry Chevallier Guild of Aspall Cyder, pictured with his brother Henry, says no decision has been reached. Picture: ARCHANT

Barry Chevallier Guild of Aspall Cyder, pictured with his brother Henry, says no decision has been reached. Picture: ARCHANT

One of Suffolk’s best known drinks brands with more than 300 years of family history is remaining tight-lipped about speculation of a potential foreign investor or buy-out.

People living near Aspall Cyder’s factory in Mid Suffolk say there have been rumours of a possible deal involving a number of industry giants since the start of the year but, as yet, nothing has been confirmed.

Sky News reported in September Molson Coors, a major international drinks companies and owner of brands including Carling, Caffreys and Staropramen, was holding talks with Aspall.

Sources were reported to have said Aspall’s board had been engaged in discussions with prospective bidders for much of the year, with both private equity investors and major brewers expressing an interest in buying the company.

Aspall, which employs around 120 people, told the EADT in February it was seeking to grow its operations and boost its public profile.

Company chairman Barry Chevallier Guild said there were “fantastic opportunities” to invest in the brand and factory site to keep up with demand.

When asked about the recent speculation, Mr Chevallier Guild replied there was nothing to report other than business’s continued growth.

“We are exploring options as to how we fund the continued growth of the business and despite speculation in the media as to who we might be talking to no decision has been made,” he added.

Molson Coors said it did not respond to “industry speculation”.

One villager, who asked to remain anonymous, said there had been speculation of a deal all year, with several companies rumoured to be in negotiations.

They said the main concern for people living near the factory site was the number of lorries driving along narrow country lanes, which had previously been raised as a concern, particularly as the business grew.

“Nobody is against Aspall, however the infrastructure in the village is unsuitable for the number of heavy goods vehicles serving a company of Aspall’s size,” the villager said.

“If there is a new investor in Aspall, we hope it might allow the company to expand into new, more suitable, premises at the Food Enterprise Zone near Stowmarket, just a few miles away.”

Aspall Cyder has been operating from its Suffolk site since 1728.

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