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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Marston's buys Old Thumper brewer
Pint being pulled - generic picture
Ringwood also makes Fortyniner, Huffkin and Boondoggle beer
Pubs group and brewer Marston's taken over famous ale brands including Old Thumper after buying regional brewer Ringwood in a 19.2m deal.

The acquisition will boost Marston's presence in the South of England and enhance its range of regional breweries which include Midlands-based Banks's.

Hampshire-based Ringwood's pubs will also be added to Marston's estate.

Marston's, best known for its flagship Pedigree bitter, also owns the Pitcher & Piano and Taverners Carvery chains.

"We plan to develop its excellent brands as part of our strategy to meet consumer demand for premium ales with local provenance and heritage, said Alistair Darby, Marston's beer company managing director.

"Our premium ale business continues to deliver good, consistent growth and we look forward to replicating the success of the Jennings business through Ringwood in the South of England."

News of the deal comes six months after Marston's bought pub chain Eldridge Pope from entrepreneur Michael Cannon for 155m.

Meanwhile in May the group sold 279 pubs to a property fund PLP, whose backers include Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and X-Factor judge Simon Cowell.

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