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AB InBev offloads eight beverage brands to Tilray in $85m deal
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

9 August 2023

AB InBev offloads eight beverage brands to Tilray in $85m deal

Cannabis-lifestyle and CPG company Tilray has entered into an agreement to acquire eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch for $85 million. Upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions, Tilray will acquire Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company and HiBall Energy from AB InBev. The transaction includes current employees, brewpubs and breweries associated with the brands. The sale adds four production facilities across the US – in Portland and Bend (Oregon), Littleton (Colorado), and Patchogue (New York) – to the Tilray portfolio. It also includes the sale of eight brewpub locations – in Seattle (Washington), two in Bend (Oregon), Portland (Oregon), Boise (Idaho), Littleton and Breckenridge (Colorado), and Patchogue (New York). The transaction is set to diversify Tilray’s US beverage alcohol segment and will position it as the fifth largest craft beer business in the US – up from the ninth. Tilray’s current brands are SweetWater Brewing Company, Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Green Flash Brewing Company. It also owns Breckenridge Distillery and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails. Created in 2006, Shock Top – a traditional Belgian-style wheat ale – can be considered the most significant of the package as it has a nationwide footprint in all ABInBev sets and has been the focal point of numerous advertising campaigns. Breckenridge Brewery opened in 1990 and has grown into one of the most recognised craft breweries in the US with a focus on balanced, approachable and interesting beer. Founded in 1998, Blue Point Brewing Company has grown into one of the largest breweries in New York, offering a line-up of easy-drinking and innovative craft beers. 10 Barrel Brewing Company was founded in 2006 and today boasts an award-winning team of brewers with four brewpub locations. 10 Barrel is said to be one of the most acclaimed breweries in the US and is consistently a top medal winner at the Oregon Beer Awards. Redhook Brewery – founded in 1981 – is one of the nation’s original craft breweries and has an 8-barrel brewing system where consumers can taste the latest experiments. Widmer Brothers Brewing, founded in 1984, is one of the largest craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest. Square Mile Cider Company, which launched in 2013, offers ciders made with pure Pacific Northwest apples and lager yeast to create a crisp, clean and semi-dry hard cider. HiBall Energy, which was discontinued by AB InBev in May of this year, was founded in 2005 as a clean energy seltzer made with zero sugar, zero calories and organic caffeine. Irwin Simon, chairman and CEO of Tilray Brands, said: “Leveraging the deep CPG expertise of Tilray’s leadership team and acquisition integration track record, we intend to drive both revenue and cost synergies, while significantly expanding national distribution to coveted markets across the US and internationally. In a matter of three years, Tilray has solidified its leadership position in the craft beer industry, and we fully intend to be that change agent that reinvigorates the sector." Tilray is projecting pro forma revenue of $250 million from the transaction. It says that the distribution relationships through the Anheuser-Busch system will strengthen its distribution footprint nationwide. Ty Gilmore, president of US Beer at Tilray Brands, added: "With this transaction, our beer business is expected to triple in size from 4 million cases to 12 million cases annually. Looking ahead, we will further capitalise on the potential of these brands through product innovation, retailer partnerships and expanded distribution into key markets, including the Pacific Northwest and California.” The purchase price will be paid in all cash and the transaction is expected to close in 2023.

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