New York City-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners today announced plans to sell North American Breweries (NAB) – whose brand portfolio includes well-known craft offerings like Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s – to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A. for $388 million.
Reports of a potential buyout surfaced last month when Reuters, citing “sources familiar with the matter” reported that KPS had put the NAB brand up for sale. NAB has long been discussed as an acquisition target. At one point in 2011, it was rumored that the Japanese company, Saporro Holdings Ltd., was interested in cutting a deal. NAB officials regularly denied those claims and refused to comment on last month’s buyout speculations.
The announcement also comes just three days after the Irish cider company, C&C, agreed to a $305 million acquisition of Vermont Hard Cider Company. If you’re counting along at home, that’s $693 million in ‘craft’ acquisitions this week.
The complete press release is below.
NEW YORK – KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) announced today that it signed a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company, North American Breweries Holdings, LLC (“NAB” or the “Company”), to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A. (“CCR”), a subsidiary of Florida Ice and Farm Company, S.A., for $388 million in cash. NAB is one of the largest independently owned beer companies in the United States and the owner of a diverse portfolio of brands including Labatt, Genesee, Seagram’s Escapes, Magic Hat, Pyramid, the Original Honey Brown Lager, Dundee and MacTarnahan’s. NAB operates four state-of-the-art breweries and seven retail locations located in New York, Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington.
KPS formed NAB in February 2009 as a platform for investments and growth in the North American beer and malt beverage industries. At that time, KPS also announced NAB’s first three acquisitions: Labatt USA from a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev; substantially all of the assets of High Falls Brewing Company, LLC (now known as the Genesee Brewing Company); and a perpetual license for the Seagram’s Escapes and Seagram’s Smooth brands from Pernod Ricard USA, LLC. In 2010, NAB acquired Independent Brewers United, Inc, one of the largest craft brewers in the United States, and owner of the Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s brand families of craft beer.
Raquel Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, “In forming NAB, KPS did not buy or invest in a company; rather we created a new company that became one of the largest and fastest growing independent beer companies in the U.S. NAB is a complete validation of the KPS investment strategy of seeing value where others do not, buying right, making businesses better and creating value for our investors. We take immense pride in what NAB has accomplished.”
Ms. Palmer added, “We congratulate and thank the NAB management team for their extraordinary tactical execution of our vision, which resulted in the Company’s significant revenue growth year after year and the eventual acquisition by a leading international strategic buyer.”
KPS also thanks the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and NAB’s craft union partners for their contributions toward the success of NAB.
Completion of the transaction, which is expected in the fourth quarter, is subject to customary closing conditions.
Jenner & Block served as legal counsel to NAB with respect to the transaction and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to KPS.
UBS Securities, LLC acted as financial advisor to KPS and NAB with respect to the transaction.
About North American Breweries Holdings, LLC
North American Breweries Holdings, LLC (“NAB”) is one of the largest independently owned beer companies in the United States. NAB brews, packages, imports, markets and sells its branded product portfolio through an independent network of wholesalers throughout the U.S. NAB’s portfolio of brands includes: the Labatt brands, the Genesee brands, Seagram’s Escapes, Magic Hat, Pyramid, the Original Honey Brown Lager, Dundee Ales & Lagers and MacTarnahan’s. NAB also performs contract brewing of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on behalf of other companies. NAB is also the U.S. importer of Imperial from Costa Rica. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, NAB operates four breweries across the United States, including its flagship brewery, the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, NY, which is one of the largest and longest continually-operating breweries in the United States. For more information, please visit www.nabreweries.com.
About KPS Capital Partners, LP:
KPS Capital Partners, LP is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of private equity funds with over $2.5 billion of assets under management focused on constructive investing in corporate carve-outs, restructurings and other special situations. KPS has executed highly complex corporate carve-out transactions on a global basis, and has acquired businesses from numerous Global Fortune 500 companies. The KPS investment strategy targets manufacturing and industrial companies with strong market positions that are going through a period of transition or experiencing operating or financial difficulties. For over two decades, the partners of KPS have worked with the management teams and associates of its portfolio companies to improve operating and financial performance by focusing on cost reduction, efficiency, operational excellence and strategic growth initiatives. KPS Portfolio Companies, as of September 30, 2012, have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $7.2 billion, operate 89 manufacturing plants in 25 countries, and employ over 30,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at the firm’s website: