Sale of Flying Firkin Distribution Limited

As SIBA Members will be aware from the Chairman’s address at the AGM last week the Board is committed to keeping members updated on the future of Flying Firkin Distribution Limited.

For those of you who either weren’t at the AGM, or who haven’t caught up on what was discussed and need reminding about SIBA’s ownership, the position is that SIBA purchased 75% of the shares of Flying Firkin Distribution Ltd – a cask beer wholesaler based in the North West – in December 2017. This was done with the aim of safeguarding the substantial amount of business that many SIBA members had with Flying Firkin at that time as the business was likely to close. The purchase price was on a net asset basis only and committed only around 5% of SIBA’s reserves – it was therefore a low risk purchase.

Having safeguarded Flying Firkin during its first 18 months of ownership, SIBA committed minimal resources to the business due to other priorities and has only more recently turned its attention to this business in some depth.

Whilst SIBA’s purchase of Flying Firkin has undoubtedly stabilised the business, prior to the unprecedented current trading climate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that SIBA would need to commit further significant resources to enable the business to move forward in today’s highly difficult market. The SIBA Board had therefore asked the Executive, in conjunction with the management of Flying Firkin, to develop a detailed plan with recommendations before any significant further resource is allocated by SIBA to Flying Firkin.

At the same time SIBA, has received two expressions of interest to purchase SIBA’s 75% share of that business and it is the SIBA Board’s fiduciary duty to consider those expressions of interest.

It is only right therefore that we make members aware of this and to make available the opportunity for any other party who might want to make an expression of interest in the business. This might seem a difficult time to undertake this process, but as the two expressions of interest have been confirmed the Board feel that now is the right time to follow this up giving any new owner the opportunity to tackle the ongoing issues in their own way.

Therefore, in order to be fully open and transparent with members we are making it publicly known that we have had expressions of interest and are setting a deadline of close-of-play Wednesday 1st April for full and final offers for Flying Firkin from any interested parties.

If you wish to express an interest in the business you should get in touch with either Jamie Allison of Napthens at or Sara Knox, Company Secretary at

A Non-Disclosure Agreement will be sent to any interested party. Once returned, parties will receive an Information Memorandum containing relevant information about the business. Any further questions should be directed to either Jamie or Sara and if needed arrangements can be made for interested parties to speak to the Managing Director of FFD again co-ordinated by Jamie or Sara.

Full and final offers must be submitted by close-of-play Wednesday 1st April.

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