Constellation Brands Inc., Victor, N.Y., announced an agreement to acquire San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. One of the fastest growing craft beer companies in the United States, Ballast Point beer portfolio contains more than 40 different varieties, including its Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, the company says. The partnership with Ballast Point will enable Constellation Brands to compete in the craft beer segment, further strengthening its position in the highest end of the U.S. beer market, it adds.
Ballast Point started in 1996 as a small group of home brewers and will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its current management team and employees running the day-to-day operations. Ballast Point Brewing will continue its U.S. expansion and will have access to Constellation’s financial position and willingness to invest in growth, the company says.
“We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way,” said Jack White, founder of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, in a statement. “To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale.”
Rob Sands, chief executive officer at Constellation Brands, added: “We believe in the vision that Jack and his team have created and we’re excited to welcome Ballast Point, one of the most respected craft brewers in the country, to the Constellation Brands family. Along with imports, craft beer is a key driver of growth and premiumization within the beer industry, with craft doubling its share of the U.S. beer market in the last five years. Ballast Point has certainly been a key driver of that growth. Their business philosophy and entrepreneurial spirit perfectly align with our culture and we look forward to strengthening our position in the high-end beer segment with what is arguably the most premium major brand in the entire craft beer business.”
Ballast Point is projected to sell nearly 4 million cases in 2015, representing growth of more than 100 percent versus 2014, the company says. Net sales are expected to be approximately $115 million in 2015. Volume and net sales growth from 2012 to 2014 averaged more than 80 percent.
Ballast Point employs more than 500 employees, produces beer in four facilities in the San Diego area area, and sells its beer in more than 30 states, the companies add.
Constellation Brands plans to purchase Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for approximately $1 billion, it says. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions.