View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Camden Brewery's independence under threat

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17-02-2014, 08:31
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After their jitters and near-bankruptcy on the eve of WW I, Camden Brewery seem to have emerged from the war with their finances in decent order.

By 1923, they were making a decent profit:

"Camden Brewery Co., Ltd., report that during the twelve months to September 30th, the profit including rentals, interest, etc.. was net £149,177, as against net £32,375 in the preceding year. After providing for income tax, etc., interest on mortgages and debenture stocks, the net balance is £21,658. The balance brought forward was £96,032, making, with certain adjustments, the present balance of £130,422. The time has now arrived when the directors are able to make for this year a payment to the Income Bondholders, and they propose to make a distribution during January of 2s. 8d. in the £ on the full redemption value of the income bonds. This sum has been provided partly out of the surplus profits of the year under review and partly from provisions made in past years for risks which in the directors' opinion have now run off and are available for release. The above distribution must not be taken as a basis for possible future payments of this nature. The directors have recently learned that a substantial block of shares acquired in the names of two nominees, are for the account of a competitive London Brewery, and they have received a request that upon the footing of this purchase one of the directors of the Camden Brewery Co., Ltd., should retire in favour of a representative of the brewery referred to. The only directors eligible for retirement are Messrs. Whitaker and Grimwood, two of the original proprietors of the business, and they represent a shareholding which at one time was of the Value of £100,000. Their colleagues are unanimously opposed to sacrificing either of these gentlemen, who desire, and offer themselves for, re-election. The present directors, who have conducted the business during the difficult times following the reconstruction to its present strongly improved position, do not view with favour the admission to intimate knowledge of their business of a representative of a rival concern except on a mandate from the general body of shareholders."
"The Brewers' journal, 1923", page 63.If you remember, Camden's profits were around £40,000 at the end of the 1890's. The price of standard Mild had about trebled in the meantime, meaning that £149,177 was the equivalent of around £50,000 in 1890's prices.

The Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Grimwood referred to must have been the original owners of the limited company (founded 1889) rather than the brewery (founded 1859). A Whitaker and a Grimwood had been among the initial partners, but they surely must have been long dead by 1923. I assume the Whitaker and Grimwood were from a generation or two later.

The "at one time was of the Value of £100,000" is significant. Because after the company's restructuring they were worth considerably less. At one time the value of the £10 shares was as low as 6d.

The competitive London brewery was Courage. Had they got hold of some ordinary shares? If so, from Whom? The Ordinary Shares were all held privately by the family of the original partners.

Courage didn't give up trying to get a seat on Camden's board:

"The Camden Brewery.
Some light is thrown upon the rise the shares of Courage and Co. in the directors' report of the Camden Brewery Co. This report recommends in the first place a distribution to the income bondholders during January of 2s 7d in the £ the original redemption value of the Income Bonds. The report further states that arrangements have been made for the sale of the company's licensed properties to Courage and Co., and that the latter have secured a large interest in the capital of the Camden Brewery, which makes it desirable that they shall have a representative on the board of the latter company. The Ordinary capital of the Camden Brewery is privately held, but the 1,100,000 Ordinary shares of Courage and Co. are officially quoted, and stand at around 1.75."
Aberdeen Journal - Tuesday 18 December 1923, page 11.
If they'd decided to sell the pubs to Courage, they must already have decided to get rid of the brewery. Without the pubs, there was no point - and no money - in having the brewery.

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