Constellation Brands sells Ballast Point: ‘Trends in the US craft beer segment have shifted dramatically’

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Constellation Brands sells Ballast Point: ‘Trends in craft beer have shifted’

Related tags Us Craft beer

Constellation Brands is selling Ballast Point: four years after it paid $1bn for the California craft brewer.

Chicagoland's Kings & Convicts has signed an agreement with Constellation to acquire the Ballast Point brand and a number of its associated production facilities and brewpubs, excluding Constellation’s Craft & Specialty operations in Daleville, Virginia. This transaction is expected to close by the end of Constellation’s fiscal 2020.

Constellation Brands acquired Ballast Point in 2015 for $1bn:​ paying a premium for the growth potential it saw in the brewery. The terms and value of the sale to Kings & Convicts has not been disclosed.

Constellation shifts its attention to hard seltzer

Constellation Brands says the sale will allow it concentrate on growing its import portfolio and new innovations. In beer its brands include Modelo and Corona: and one of its areas of development is expanding the Corona brand​ into new occasions and new consumers (with Corona Refresca, Corona Premier and the upcoming launch of Corona Hard Seltzer​)

Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands president and chief executive officer, said: “Trends in the US craft beer segment have shifted dramatically since our acquisition of Ballast Point.

“Ballast Point remains one of the most iconic craft beer brands in the country and we’re pleased to transition the business to an owner that can devote the resources needed to fuel its future success.

“At the same time, this decision allows Constellation to focus more fully on maximizing growth for our high-performing import portfolio and upcoming new product introductions, including Corona Hard Seltzer, scheduled to launch this spring.”

Constellation Brands, however, will maintain its Craft & Specialty division which includes Funky Buddha​ in Florida (acquired in 2017) and Four Corners​ in Texas (acquired in 2018).

Craft buys craft

Kings & Convicts, an Illinois craft brewer which was founded in 2017, currently distributes its brews across Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin. It says it wants to grow both its existing business and Ballast Point together.

“Our goal is to leverage Ballast Point’s deep know-how, talented and passionate employee base, and outstanding operating team to grow both Ballast Point and Kings & Convicts together,” ​said Brendan Watters, Kings & Convicts’ CEO.

Kings & Convicts will retain all positions within Ballast Point’s existing workforce, and says it plans to hire additional resources to support the future growth of the business.

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