On Nov. 11, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), a Portland, Oregon-based brewing company that creates craft beers, and Anheuser-Busch (A-B) said they will expand their partnership, with A-B agreeing to purchase the remaining CBA shares it does not already own in a merger transaction for $16.50 per share, in cash.
“Today’s announcement represents an exciting next step in a long and successful partnership with Anheuser-Busch, whose support for the growth of our business and brands traces back over 25 years,” said Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA. “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.”
The vast majority of CBA’s brands are already distributed through A-B’s network of independent wholesalers per the companies’ existing commercial agreement.
“Anheuser-Busch has a long track record of working with its craft partners to help make the U.S. beer category stronger and more vibrant,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “Our partnership with CBA goes back many years and we look forward to supporting CBA as they continue to bring great products to beer drinkers across the U.S.”
CBA would join A-B’s high-performing Brewers Collective—a collection of craft partners spread throughout the country. In the last three years alone, A-B has invested more than $130 million in its craft partners, allowing them to expand their production volume by an average of 31 percent. A-B’s craft partners have created nearly 1,000 new jobs in their home communities to support their growing breweries.
“The beer industry in the U.S. is competitive and dynamic, with more choices available to consumers than ever before,” said Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president of Brewers Collective of 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.”
A-B currently owns a 31.2 percent stake in CBA and has offered $16.50 in cash for the remaining shares.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by a majority of CBA’s shareholders not affiliated with A-B and certain regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in 2020.