De Vere Group

De Vere Group
De Vere Group
Type Private
Industry Hotels
Founded 1762
Headquarters London, UK
Key people Andrew Coppell (Chairman)
Parent Alternative Hotels Group plc

De Vere Group is a hotels and leisure business which until the late 1990s was a brewing company known as Greenall's. It used to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



Greenall's Brewery was founded by Thomas Greenall in 1762. Initially based in St Helens, the Company relocated to Warrington in 1787.[1]

It bought the Groves & Whitnall Brewery in Salford in 1961,[2] Shipstone's Brewery in Nottingham in 1978[3] and Davenport's Brewery in Birmingham in 1986.[4] For much of the twentieth century the Company traded as Greenall Whitley & Co Limited.[4]

It ceased brewing in 1991 to concentrate on running pubs and hotels.[5]

In 1999 the tenanted wing of the Greenall's operation was sold to the Japanese bank, Nomura, for £370 million.[6]

In 1999 the main Greenall's operation, involving 770 pubs and 69 budget lodges, was sold to Scottish and Newcastle for £1.1billion.[7]

In 2005 The Belfry was sold by Greenalls to The Quinn Group for £186 million.[8]

The Greenall family connection remained as Lord Daresbury, the descendant of the original founder, remained the non-executive Chairman. This tie was eventually severed in 2006 when Lord Daresbury stepped down from the post and much of the family's interest was sold.[9]

In September 2006 De Vere Group was acquired by The Alternative Hotels Group plc, a joint venture between HBOS and eight investors led Richard Balfour-Lynn,[10] for £745.5 million.[11] The Alternative Hotels Group plc renamed itself De Vere Group again in December 2010.[12] Richard Balfour-Lynn stood down as Chief Executive in September 2011.[13]


The Company is now focussed on its hotel franchises, De Vere and Village Leisure. Hotels include Barony Castle in the Scottish Borders.

Greenall's-owned beer brands were brewed by Allied Breweries at their Leeds and Burton plant. Greenall's ale can still be bought in some pubs in the North West of England, although it is slowly disappearing and often only the "Greenall's Mild" brand can be found. Greenall's Bitter is 3.6% ABV.[14] Greenall's Mild is 3.1%.[14]

Greenall's London Dry Gin is still produced and marketed by a division of the leisure group.


Greenall's sponsored Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town football clubs during the late 1980s. Greenall's was also involved with the Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club for some 115 years. The sponsorship ended in 1998 when Greenall's operations were sold to Scottish and Newcastle.


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