Coca-Cola Amatil has acquired Australian Feral Brewing Company as it aims to tap into strong growth in the craft beer segment.
Feral, which was founded in 2002 and is based in Perth, said the deal will enable it to expand its distribution network and innovation programme. The company produces about 7.2 million litres of beer per year.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but Feral’s management team will remain in place, which now plans ‘more product launches than ever before’.
Feral said it was drawn to Coca-Cola Amatil because its beer business ‘is still relatively young’, meaning its focus is very much about building brands.
In a statement, Feral founder Brendan Vardis said that after 15 years he has taken the business as far as he can on his own.
“After lots of conversations I became comfortable that Amatil understood exactly what they would be buying when it came to the Feral business,” he said.
“They realise that our values of innovation, beer quality and community are fundamental to who we are and our future success, and they’re as invested in that as we are.”
“With the bigger team behind us, we will be able to expand our innovation programme and have access to a distribution network that will put our beers in front of thousands more craft beer consumers.”
With the bigger team behind us we will be able to expand our innovation programme and have access to a distribution network that will put our beers in front of thousands more craft beer consumers
Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said: “The alcohol and coffee business is an important part of Amatil’s future growth plans and this new relationship with Feral Brewing is a really exciting step for us in the fast-growing craft beer segment.”
Coca-Cola Amatil managing director of alcohol and coffee Shane Richardson added: “We saw a great opportunity to add this outstanding craft beer range into our portfolio, along with the team led by Brendan and Gabrielle who have built Feral Brewing to be recognised as one the most respected craft breweries in Australia.
“They have done an amazing job with Feral. In our opinion it’s the flag bearer for craft brewing and we are really looking forward to working with Brendan, the team and the brands to see what we can do together in the future.”
Coca-Cola Amatil has been hit by struggling soft drink sales in Australia, posting a 4% decline in domestic sales for the first half of 2017. The group hopes its Coca-Cola No Sugar variant will boost performance in the coming months.
Feral is the latest Australian craft brewer to be snapped up following AB InBev’s purchase of 4 Pines last month.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017