Carlsberg UK has reached an agreement with British brewery, pub and hotel operator Marston’s to establish a joint venture (JV) beer company in the UK.

As part of this initiative, both companies will establish their brewing and distribution assets into the proposed JV company, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.

Carlsberg Group CEO Cees ’t Hart said: “The creation of the joint venture is an important step forward for our UK business. The joint venture’s brand portfolio will allow us to offer a significantly stronger beer portfolio to our UK customers, and at the same time extend distribution into the Marston’s pub estate.

“In addition, the combined business will bring our customers a wider choice, greater capacity, product innovation, and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits.”

Completion of the deal should take place in the second half of this year, subject to shareholder approval at Marston’s and competition clearance.

Under the arrangement, Carlsberg will pay nearly £273m to Marston’s, £34m of which will be a deferred contingent payment.

With this investment, Carlsberg will hold a 60% stake in the joint venture company, while Marston’s will own the remaining 40% stake.

Additionally, the joint venture company will have access to the Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio through a long-term strategic partnership.

Currently, Marston’s operates nearly 1,400 pubs. The proposed venture is expected to benefit from Marston’s Beer Company’s wide distribution network.

The new joint venture company portfolio will feature Carlsberg’s brands such as Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt, Poretti, Tetley’s, Somersby cider and the London Fields Brewery craft portfolio, as well as the UK licence for San Miguel, Mahou and the Brooklyn Brewery craft beer portfolio.

In March, Carlsberg donated $13.6m to fast-track efforts against Covid-19. The company anticipates that the grants can mobilise scientific, economic and human efforts to minimise the spread of Covid-19 epidemic.