BrewDog launches Japanese venture ahead of IPO

BrewDog has sought to leave allegations of a “toxic” workplace behind it with a move into the Japanese market.

It hopes to grow sales sixfold through BrewDog Japan, a joint venture with Asahi, the country’s biggest brewer.

The £1.85 billion Aberdeenshire firm owns a 51 per cent controlling stake in the new business.

Founder James Watt, whom whistleblowers have singled out for BrewDog’s “rotten culture”, hailed the “opportunity to grow further in such a significant market”.

READ MORE: BrewDog launches independent review into ‘toxic’ workplace

The joint venture will be run by Daisaku Okuda, an Asahi veteran of two decades, who plans to “significantly increase” the number of Japanese outlets selling BrewDog drinks.

It comes after BrewDog appointed Rothschild as independent advisor ahead of a planned listing.

The brewer hopes to go public in London, though it is also said to be considering the New York Stock Exchange.

Last October, it raised £7.5 million in what founders said would be its last funding round before an IPO.

BrewDog’s reputation has taken a battering in recent months with a string of summer disasters.

In June, ex-employees accused the company of creating a “culture of fear” where senior staff exploited workers “without repercussions”.

BrewDog has since appointed recruitment company Wiser to lead a review into the allegations.

It hit the headlines again in June, when it was reported to the advertising watchdog after claiming to have hidden solid gold cans in its cases of beer.

Winners complained they had been “let down” after finding their prize was worth £500 and made largely of brass.

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