Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Distributing announced it will purchase the majority of the assets of Graybeal Distributing, Pendleton, Ore. Graybeal represents a portfolio of more than 190 international, national and local beer, energy and water suppliers that account for more than 500 brands, it says.

Employees, brands and warehouses of Eastern Oregon’s largest beverage distribution company will continue normal operations under the new ownership when the transaction closes on or around Feb. 28, it said.

Founded in 1955 by the father and son team of Finley and Jay Graybeal, the Graybeal family has grown the business to more than 2,400 beverage SKUs distributed to the eastern counties of Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker and Wallowa.

The acquisition builds on the eastward territory Columbia gained through last year’s acquisition of General Distributors Inc. The Graybeal acquisition mirrors the strategy of other distributors in recent years, Columbia’s president and chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Steffanci says. “This will allow us to expand numerous brands where we see strong potential for growth while delivering on our brand promise. … We are excited to start a great partnership with our new Eastern Oregon family.”

Graybeal CEO Maryl Featherstone added: “Graybeal Distributing has been incredibly fortunate to build a distributorship that’s made such a significant impact on so many lives. A very sincere thank you to everyone who’s touched the company over the last 64 years ... I have no doubt the business we’ve built is in good hands; it will continue to grow, and most importantly, give back to our community.” BI