Saturday, 23 August 2008

Crisis at Cains

Brothers may win back
control of their brewery

As the dust settles on Cains Brewery in Liverpool, it seems the Dusanj brothers, Ajmail and Sudarghara, may re-emerge as the owners of the brewery. The company was placed in adminstration two weeks ago when its bank, HBOS, refused to continue to fund it. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was appointed to sell the brewery and its estate of 100 pubs. While the pubs were likely to tempt several offers it seemed there was little future for the brewery.
But it has emerged that the Dusanj brothers and their familites own the freehold of the property in Stanhope Street, Liverpool. They also own 10 of the pubs through a family trust and they are now tipped to continue to run the brewery and a slimmed-down pub estate.
Some of the remaining pubs, bought last year from Honeycombe Leisure, will not fare so well. Some are Punch Taverns leases and Punch has told several tenants that their pubs will close. PWC is still hoping attract buyers for other pubs.
Figures produced by PWC show that less than one third of the beer brewed at Stanhope Street is Cain's own brands. 58% is own-label beer while 14% is contract brewed for other brewers. The brewery also has one of the biggest canning lines in Britain. It has continued to operate normally in spite of being in administration.
It will be a remarkable turnaround if the Dusanj brothers continue to operate the brewery they saved from closure in 2002. But it will be good news for both Merseyside beer drinkers and Cain's employees.


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