Yorkshire brewer sells 50% stake to BJSS co-founder

Yorkshire brewer sells 50% stake to BJSS co-founder
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Brent Hofacker

A brewer and pub operator with 26 sites across Yorkshire has sold a 50% stake in the business to the co-founder of Leeds-based software specialist BJSS.

As the new co-owner of Ossett Brewery, Mark Hunter, will now take a seat on the board. However, he will not form part of the day-to-day operational management team, the brewer said.

It will continue to be led by co-owner and pub company founder, Jamie Lawson, while founder Bob Lawson will remain as non-executive Chairman.

Although new to the brewing industry, Mr Hunter brings strategic experience at board level after growing BJSS into a global leader in its field with clients including the NHS, government departments, leading FTSE companies as well as platforms for the Paris and Vienna stock exchanges.

Employing over 1000 people, BJSS has grown organically and operates from offices located across the UK and the USA.

“Since my father founded the brewery in 1998, and I founded the pub company in 2003, we have grown beyond all recognition and merged into one group in 2016,” said Mr Lawson.

“Taking on a business partner with Mark’s experience at this time will provide funding and  knowledge for the next, really exciting chapter of our growth.

“Our strategy is to take advantage of our newly developed and modernised brewery in Ossett through increased production whilst growing our freehold Ossett pub estate.

“Salt Beer Factory based in the UNESCO village of Saltaire will begin canning its own products in 2019 with exciting new IPA and lager products launched in keg and canned format.

“Salt also plans to open new Craft Asylum sites next year after the success of the first 2 sites in Leeds city centre.”