South Island beer brewing business sold, changing name

The sale of the brewing business will see Moa Group change its name to Savour and become a...
The sale of the brewing business will see Moa Group change its name to Savour and become a hospitality only business. Photo: NZH File
Moa Group has sold its brewing business for $1.9 million.

In a market update, the company said the divestment would create "greater balance sheet flexibility to pursue growth" and the capability to generate future earnings.

The move comes following a shakeup at the company, with the firm changing its name to Savour and Lucien Law being appointed managing director and group chief executive.

Moa Group will become Savor from March 1 and the NZX ticker will change from "MOA" to "SVR".

"The future of Moa Brewing Company has been a focus of the Board and management over the past six months," Geoff Ross, chairman of Moa Group said in the market announcement.

"The board recognises the value that the Brewing business has brought to the Group, which formed the foundations of where the group stands today. However, the board, with the support of management, has concluded that the best outcome for shareholders is to allocate capital and management attention to the areas of the business with the greatest growth and earnings potential."

Ross said the hospitality businesses under the group had performed above expectations since they were acquired in April 2019.

"The subsequent acquisition of Non Solo Pizza, and development of new venues has seen a progressive shift in the group's operations to now be primarily hospitality focused, with those operations representing 65 per cent of revenue and over 100 per cent of profitability in FY20," he said.

Lucien Law, incoming chief executive of Savor Group, said a single focus on hospitality would allow the group to focus on opportunities for strategic growth through new concepts, through both refreshing existing venue spaces and adding new ones.

"The successful relaunch of Non-Solo Pizza and the expansion of the Azabu brand to Mission Bay, have highlighted the growth potential for the hospitality business, and we are confident about the expertise of the team to execute on more opportunities in our pipeline in due course," Law said.

The group consulted with a "wide range of potential purchasers" for the brewing business, but decided to sell the business to Mallbeca Limited - a company associated with current chief executive Stephen Smith.

The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of February, and Smith will continue as chief executive of the business.

"The commitment of our shareholders to Moa Brewing since listing in 2012 has been unwavering. We were able to be a true disruptor in the market, and the Board continue to be proud of the position that Moa holds in the craft beer sector," Ross said.

"This has been a difficult decision for the board, however, we know that this is the best outcome for all shareholders. We have no doubt that Stephen with support of his family is the right person to take the business forward and will be a true protector of the Moa brand."

The Moa Brewing Company was located in Marlborough.












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