There were two ways brewery takeovers could take place. When control was still in the hands of family members, it was when they decided to sell up. Either because they had no interest in running a brewery or because the brewery was rundown and needed a big investment to keep it going.
When the share ownership was widely helf, there was an opportunity for a hostile takeover. By offering over the odds for the shares, sharholders could easily be tempted to sell up.
Allied's attempt to buy Boddington was in the latter category Why is this attempted takeover so noteworthy? Because Boddington successfully fought it off. It might well be the only time this happened in the UK brewing world.
"Defence by Boddington
Boddingion's Brewery has fired off some ammunition in its defence against Allied Breweries.
Backed by the merchant banker Hill Samuel, the Boddington board says that the combination of increased trade plus improved efficiency enabled it to attain substantially higher earnings in 1969. Unaudited figures now published show that in 1969 pre-tax profita Jumped from £40l,000 to £463,000, while after-tax profits were up from £214,000 to £252,000.
Following the unchanged five per cent interim dividend, the directors now propose ay a second of interim (in lieu of final) of 15 per cent, which compares with the 1966 final of 11 per cent.
The chairman, Mr. C. G. Boddington. tells shareholders that Allied has not given an assurance that if takes the company over it will keep the brewery open.
If it is closed, says Mr. Boddington, "the traditions of the company will come to an end." The tradition he speaks of is making fine bitter beer.
Boddington's Brewery also says that, following the award of the 2d per pint price increase last month, Boddington should be able to add £125,000 to its revenue this year.
The market clearly expects Allied to increase its bid, or for Whitbread (which holds a 13 per cent stake in Boddington) to enter the fray.
The shares at present stand at a premium of about 6s 6d on Allied's offer price."
Birmingham Daily Post - Saturday 24 January 1970, page 4.
The last sentence of the penultimate paragraph is prescient. Because in the 1980s Whitbread did indeed taakeover Boddington A sad day. And proceeded to totally trash the brand.