|Type||Public (LSE: GNK)|
|Headquarters||Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
|Key people||Tim Bridge, (Chairman)
Rooney Anand, (CEO)
|Revenue||£960.5 million (2008)|
|Operating income||£241.1 million (2008)|
|Profit||£124.3 million (2008)|
Greene King (LSE: GNK) is a British brewery established in 1799 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It has grown to become the largest British owned brewery in the UK by a series of takeovers which have been the subject of some criticism. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 share index.
Greene King's Westgate brewery is in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It was established in 1799 by Benjamin Greene, the great-grandfather of the writer Graham Greene and his brothers Hugh (television executive) and Raymond (Everest mountaineer and physician). There is a visitor centre next to the brewery, and tours can be arranged. The company also owns pubs and hotels including the Hungry Horse pub chain. Greene King dominates the pub scene in many parts of East Anglia, with a large number of both urban and rural establishments. It also has a stand named after it at Ipswich Town's football ground, Portman Road. The company has won awards for its pubs in recent years and Greene King IPA won the Gold award at the 2004 Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Great British Beer Festival in the Bitter category and runner-up in the Champion Beer Of Britain category.
As of 16 April 2007, the Managed Pub division operated 510 local pubs and 280 Destination Pubs (i.e. food-led or hotels). This division was restructured in April 2007 with the appointment of Jonathan Lawson as MD for local pubs and Jonathan Webster for Destination Pubs. A further 1400 pubs are operated on a tenancy or lease basis by the Pub Partners division.
Greene King has grown organically and via merger and acquisition. Key acquisitions in recent years include Morland (1999) inc, Ruddles, Ridley's (2005), Belhaven (2005) & Hardys and Hansons plc (2006). Of these, only the Belhaven Brewery remains open, with the surviving brews of the other three now being produced at Bury St Edmunds.
In August 2007 Greene King announced it had acquired the 35-strong Loch Fyne fish-restaurant chain.
Greene King's ongoing business expansion has sometimes been the subject of criticism. As a result of its active acquisition policy it has come to be known by beer protestors as Greedy King  (or Greed/Greede King). The British consumer group CAMRA, claim that Greene King is in danger of becoming a monopoly by buying out other breweries and thus potentially limiting choice for the pub consumer . These claims are based on the fact that Greene King proposes the buyout of these breweries while not promising to continue the sale of the current range of ales. Production of key product lines has previously often been switched to Bury St Edmunds while lesser brands cease production. Groups like CAMRA generally oppose such brewery closures and any loss of variety in cask-conditioned or "real" ales. The growing consumer reaction to this shift was demonstrated towards the end of 2006 when a pub in Lewes, East Sussex started a well-publicised protest against Greene King for removing the locally produced Harveys Sussex Best Bitter from sale while continuing to sell other guest beers.
Greene King's beers are sold under several brands:
In 2008, Greene King released a vintage oaked, super premium version of Old Speckled Hen, named Old Crafty Hen (6.5%)
Greene King sponsored Ipswich Town Football Club during the late 1990s and early 2000s, notably at the time of their Division One playoff triumph in 2000 and fifth-place Premier League finish the following year.