Anheuser-Busch currently owns a 31.2% stake in Craft Brew Alliance, and has offered $16.50 per share in cash for the remaining shares.
In August Anheuser-Busch stated it would not buy out the company: but three months later has agreed to do so in a deal that puts the value of Craft Brew Alliance at around $321m.
Kona Brewing Company and other brands
Formed in 2008, Craft Brew Alliance is headquarted in Portland, Oregon; and operates breweries and brewpubs across the US. Its brands include national craft beer brand Kona Brewing Company; Appalachian Mountain Brewery; Cisco Brewers; Omission Brewing Co.; Redhook Brewery; Square Mile Cider Co.; Widmer Brothers Brewing; and Wynwood Brewing Co.
Most of these brands are already distributed by Anheuser-Busch’s network of independent wholesalers, with collaboration stretching back 25 years. Craft Brew Alliance’s products are available across all 50 US states and 30 other countries.
Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA, said: “By combining our resources, our talented teammates, and dynamic brands, we will look to nurture the growth of CBA’s existing portfolio as we continue investing in innovation to meet the changing needs of today’s beverage consumers, all while delivering certainty of value to our shareholders.”
CBA will join Anheuser-Busch's 'Brewers Collective' unit – a collection of craft partners spread throughout the US. In the last three years, Anheuser-Busch has invested more than $130m in its craft partners, allowing them to expand their production volume by an average of 31% and creating nearly 1,000 new jobs, according to the brewer.
“The beer industry in the US is competitive and dynamic, with more choices available to consumers than ever before,” said Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, Anheuser-Busch. “CBA’s diverse portfolio of regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands is an excellent complement to our family of craft partners and would continue to help fuel the growth of the craft beer category.”
Craft Brew Alliance describes its business as the seventh largest craft brewing company in the US and a "leader in brewing, branding, and bringing to market world-class American craft beers". It is also the 12th largest brewer in the US, according to 2018 rankings from the Brewers Association (which does not include the company in its craft brewer list given the size of Anheuser-Busch's existing stake in the business).
The transaction is expected to close in 2020: subject to customary closing conditions including the approval by a majority of shareholders not affiliated with Anheuser-Busch and certain regulatory approvals.