Controversial craft brewer BrewDog, which yanked its planned flotation in 2020, may not float until 2023, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Co-founder and chief executive least likely to be bought a “Best boss ever” mug by his staff, James Watt, told the newspaper that the decision to slow down plans to float was made before the brewer became embroiled in a publicity campaign by current and former employees who said there is a culture of fear at the fast-growing brewer.
“The true culture of BrewDog is, and seemingly always has been, fear,” the protestors said in an open letter published on Twitter in June of this year.
The company, which trades on its reputation as an iconoclast with brands such as Punk IPA, appointed Allan Leighton, the former Asda boss, as non-executive chairman last month in a bid to appear more grown-up ahead of a stock market listing that City pundits think would place a value of more than GBP2bn on the company.
The flotation could take place next year or could be delayed to 2023, Watt told the newspaper.
The company’s advisers have got cold feet over current stock market conditions plus the economic climate, with supply shortages and staffing issues (particularly for the hospitality industry).
Although Watt claimed that the delay in flotation had nothing to do with the latest in a long line of negative press reports about the company, putting another couple of years’ distance between its dispute with staff probably won’t do the company any harm.
Watt’s attitude to his staff still seems to be of the “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” variety, as he told the newspaper BrewDog “should have been clearer about the high-performance culture” of the brewer.