As the two brewing companies work toward completing the expansion of their successful 25-year relationship, Craft Brew Alliance (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), and Anheuser-Busch (“A-B”) today announced an update to their proposed expanded partnership first announced last November in which A-B agreed to purchase the remaining CBA shares it does not already own. To expedite the regulatory review process and alleviate potential regulatory concerns regarding the proposed expanded partnership, CBA and A-B have agreed to the purchase of CBA’s Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii by PV Brewing Partners (“PV Brewing”), a team of investors with decades of combined beer industry and business growth expertise. The arrangement with PV Brewing is contingent on the closing of the proposed expanded partnership between CBA and A-B, at which point PV Brewing will purchase CBA’s Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii, including the new brewery and two brewpubs. The arrangement does not include CBA’s Kona business outside of Hawaii.
“We are committed to working with regulators and facilitating the successful review and close of our expanded partnership with A-B,” says Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA. “We are delighted to have found a strong buyer that will continue to nurture the spirit of the Kona brand in Hawaii and offer its employees, who will remain part of Kona’s Hawaii operations, further opportunities for growth and development.”
CBA and A-B continue to work collaboratively with regulators who are reviewing the proposed expanded partnership.
“While our shared vision for the expanded partnership between CBA and A-B did include CBA’s Hawaii operations, we are still optimistic about the ability of CBA and A-B to offer more consumers, in more communities, even more choices as a result of this expanded partnership,” adds Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, A-B. “We are confident that PV Brewing will continue investing and driving economic growth in Kona’s communities in Hawaii.”
In Hawaii, the opening of a new 30,000-square-foot Kona brewery and canning operation this year is the next step for the vibrant and local lifestyle brand.
“In the same way that CBA carried on the legacy of what Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa built at Kona, our number one priority is supporting Kona’s future on the Islands and ensuring the success of the brand there,” says Dave Peacock, PV Brewing Investor. “We are energized by this unique opportunity and are proud to support the continued growth of Kona in Hawaii with a new state-of-the-art brewery.”
CBA and A-B continue to expect the closing of the expanded partnership to occur no later than the end of 2020, after receipt of required regulatory clearance and satisfaction of other customary conditions.