Australian brewer Lion has announced the sale of its domestic UK-based operations, including the Magic Rock and Fourpure brands, to Odyssey Inns.

The company purchased Fourpure in 2018 and Magic Rock a year later. Its Lion Little World Beverages unit said earlier this year that it was considering selling the brands, following a strategic review.  

The transaction, effective today, also includes the breweries and taprooms in London, Huddersfield and Holmfirth and Little Creatures craft beer hospitality venue in Kings Cross, London. A spokesperson for the companies said financial details were confidential.

When asked about staff retention and future plans, the spokesperson told Drinks Retailing: “In terms of the employees, as a whole-of-business share purchase, all team members and positions within the scope of the transaction will transition as part of the sale. And in terms of both breweries, they were a key part of the sale and will continue to operate and be open for business.” 

The Odyssey team is led by Stephen Cox, who co-founded Devon’s Utopian Brewing.

Cox said: “This is an incredible opportunity to take two exceptional brands, Fourpure and Magic Rock, to the next level. Combined with an excellent hospitality proposition, fantastic people and state of the art breweries, we really have the platform to do great things. We’re excited to get started and get to know the team. We bring bags of energy and enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit and strong industry experience, and we hope to bring joy to many more customers with these great beers.”

Lion’s UK managing director, Gordon Treanor, said: “Odyssey brings together a great team with a clear passion for brewing and hospitality and is ideally placed to take Magic Rock and Fourpure forward. I’d like to thank our brilliant team for their commitment and dedication, especially over the past two years. With some great sales and brand momentum, the business is well placed for the future ahead, under new ownership.”

The sale will see Lion focus future investment towards its businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the US. Lion is a subsidiary of Japan’s Kirin Holdings.