Craft Brew Alliance (CBA). Portland, Ore., and Anheuser-Busch (A-B), a subsidiary of Leuven, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, jointly announced an agreement to 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 a share, in cash.
“[This] 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, chief executive officer of CBA, in a statement. “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 through 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, chief executive officer 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 joins A-B’s Brewers Collective, a collection of craft partners spread throughout the country committed to providing consumers with innovative, quality beers and investing in their local communities, the company says. In the past three years, 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, it adds. 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 at 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.