The shareholders of Craft Brew Alliance Inc. (CBA) voted at a special meeting Feb. 25 to adopt an agreement, announced Nov. 11, 2019, that will create an expanded partnership between CBA and Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC (A-B), 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.
“On behalf of CBA’s Board of Directors and executive team, I would like to thank our shareholders for their overwhelming support of this proposed combination with A-B,” said David Lord, chairman of Craft Brew Alliance. “In addition to delivering value for our shareholders, today’s outcome reflects the tremendous success that CBA and A-B have achieved in their decades-long partnership. By joining with A-B, we look forward to accelerating the potential of CBA’s distinctive portfolio, led by Kona Brewing Co. as a truly distinctive lifestyle brand, while continuing to invest in our local communities.”
“Today’s decisively positive shareholder vote brings us even closer to cementing our expanded partnership with A-B,” added CBA CEO Andy Thomas. “For more than 25 years, our two companies have been working together to enrich the beer landscape with the highest-quality craft beer offerings, and we’re excited to build on that strong foundation and satisfy more consumers as one combined company.”
More than 98 percent of the shares voted by proxy and at the special meeting were in favor of the transaction, including a majority of the outstanding shares held by investors other than A-B or its affiliates. CBA will file the final vote results, as certified by the independent inspector of election, on a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
As previously disclosed, the transaction is expected to close in 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of requisite regulatory approvals.
CBA’s portfolio combines the power of Kona Brewing Co., a national craft beer brand, with strong regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands: Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing and Wynwood Brewing Co.
Formed in 2008, CBA is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and operates breweries and brewpubs across the U.S. CBA beers are available in all 50 U.S. states and 30 different countries around the world.
A-B owns and operates 23 breweries, 14 distributorships, and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and has more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. A-B is home to several beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands.