De Vere Group

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De Vere Group
Industry Hotels
Founded 1762
Headquarters London, UK
Key people
Andrew Coppel (Group CEO)

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 20th century, the Company traded as Greenall Whitley & Co Limited.[4] The St.Helens brewery was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a new shopping centre. The Warrington brewery on the edge of Stockton Heath, was bought by Bruntwood, renamed Wilderspool Business Park and is now let to office occupiers.[5]

It ceased brewing in 1991 to concentrate on running pubs and hotels.[6]

In 1999, the tenanted wing of the Greenall's operation was sold to the Japanese bank, Nomura, for £370 million[7] and the main Greenall's operation, involving 770 pubs and 69 budget lodges, was sold to Scottish and Newcastle for £1.1billion.[8]

In 2005, The Belfry was sold by Greenalls to The Quinn Group for £186 million.[9]

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.[10]

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,[11] for £745.5 million.[12] The Alternative Hotels Group plc renamed itself De Vere Group again in December 2010.[13]

De Vere Group sold Greenall's London Dry Gin for £7 million in a private equity-backed management buyout in August 2011.[14] Richard Balfour-Lynn stood down as Chief Executive in September 2011.[15]


The Company is now focused on its hotel business, De Vere and Village Leisure.

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.[16] Greenall's Mild is 3.1%.[16] Greenall's beer is most often found in the St. Helens and Warrington areas, particularly in former Greenall's Houses.


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.