Old Speckled Hen goes with Green King in a Chinese takeover

Old Speckled Hen
Old Speckled Hen is a premium bitter from the Morland Brewery in Abingdon, now owned by Greene King Brewery. . Since 2000, when Greene King bought Morland and closed down the Abingdon brewery, it has been made in Greene King's Bury St Edmunds brewery. It is available in more than twenty different countries in bottles, cans and on tap from cask and keg. The brand has been expanded to include Old Crafty Hen, a 6.5% abv ale, Old Golden Hen, a golden coloured 4.1% beer, and Old Hoppy Hen, a 4.2% abv pale ale.

Old Speckled Hen took its name from an MG car which was used as a runaround for workers in the MG factory. Over years of service, the car became covered in flecks of paint, gaining it acclaim in the town and earned it the nickname "Owld Speckled 'Un", translated by Ian Williams the personnel officer at the Abingdon factory into Old Speckled Hen for the brown ale first brewed by Morland in 1979.

Posted: 171105

Old Speckled Hen was first brewed in 1979 in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MG factory there on the 30th November 1979.
Suffolk-based Pub giant and brewer Greene King said it had agreed to a takeover by CKA Group run by Hong Kong’s richest family. It has agreed to buy the 220-year-old pub and beer company Greene King for £2.7bn, the equivalent of £1m for every one of its 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels. The deal adds to the vast stable of UK businesses that are part of the sprawling global empire controlled by Li Ka-shing, the 91-year-old multibillionaire who also owns pharmacy chain Superdrug and mobile operator Three.

It marks the second time this year that a longstanding British brewer has been snapped up by an Asian buyer, after Fuller’s in Chiswick on the Thames in West London was sold to Japanese drinks giant Asahi for £250m. And last month, pub group Stonegate Pub, which owns the Slug and Lettuce chain, announced it was buying rival Ei Group - once known as Enterprise Inns - for £1.3bn.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said CKA shared "many of Greene King's business philosophies". "They understand the strengths of our business and we welcome their commitment to working with the existing management team, evolving the strategy and investing in the business to ensure its continued long-term growth," he added. Greene King's directors said the terms of the deal were "fair and reasonable" and that they would unanimously recommend it to shareholders who will get the final vote on the tie-up. Shares in Greene King surged more than 50% after the deal was announced.

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Greene King
Founded in 1799 Greene King is now the country's leading pub retailer and brewer, and brewing quality beers such as Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen.