CCSI Cork Crowncap Database - Brewer/Bottler
Entered: 23 May 2007 18:00 - Bob Burr - Modified: 25 Mar 2017 20:54 - Jon Bailey
 Brewer/bottler #1580
Name Guinness & Co.
Address St. James's Gate
City Dublin
Country Ireland
Type Brewery
Extra info Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in Leixlip, County Kildare, and then from 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin. On 31 December he signed a 9,000-year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. However, the lease is no longer in effect because the brewery property has been bought out when it expanded beyond the original 4-acre site.
Ten years after establishment, on 19 May 1769 Guinness exported his beer (he had ceased ale brewing by then) for the first time, when six and a half barrels were shipped to England. The business expanded by adopting steam power and further exporting to the English market. On the death of Benjamin Guinness in 1868 the business was worth over £1 million, and the brewery site had grown from about 1 acre to over 64 acres. In 1886 his son Edward sold 65 percent of the business by a public offering on the London Stock Exchange for £6 million.
The company pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym "Student" for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student's t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student's t-test.
Because of the Irish Free State's "Control of Manufactures Act" in 1932, the company moved its headquarters to London later that year. Guinness brewed its last porter in 1974.
In 1983 a non-family chief executive Ernest Saunders was appointed and arranged the reverse takeover of the leading Scotch whisky producer Distillers in 1986. Saunders was then asked to resign following revelations that the Guinness stock price had been illegally manipulated (see Guinness share-trading fraud).
In 1986, Guinness PLC was in the midst of a bidding war for the much larger Distillers Company. In the closing stages, Guinness' stock rose 25 percent — which was unusual, since the stock of the acquiring company usually falls in a takeover situation. Guinness paid several people and institutions, most notably American arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, about $38 million USD to buy $300 USD million worth of Guinness stock. The effect was to increase the value of its offer for Distillers, whose management favored merging with Guinness.
In the course of the investigation, it emerged that Bank Leu was involved in half of the purchases. Two of Guinness' directors signed under-the-table agreements in which Bank Leu subsidiaries in Zug and Lucerne bought 41 million Guinness shares. Guinness secretly promised to redeem the shares at cost, including commissions. To fulfill its end of the bargain, Guinness deposited $76 million with Bank Leu's Luxembourg subsidiary.
As Distillers was worth more than Guinness plc, the Guinness family shareholding in the merged company went below 10 percent, and today no member of the family sits on the board. Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986.
The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo plc, capitalised in 2006 at about 40 billion euros Although not officially fully taken over, the Guinness family still owns 51 percent of the brewery. The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was switched to St. James's Gate Brewery Dublin.
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Other names used for this Brewer/bottler
Name 1 Arthur Guinness & Son Co. Ltd.
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