A-B InBev to Acquire London’s Camden Town Brewery

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Anheuser-Busch InBev is on a holiday shopping spree.

Days after it purchased Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing, the world’s largest beer company today announced a prominent international craft acquisition: London’s Camden Town Brewery.

The deal will “enable Camden Town Brewery to expand its operations, bringing more of its popular canned, bottled and kegged beer to more people,” the smaller brewery said in a statement.

“Opportunities like this come rarely,” Jasper Cuppaidge, the company’s founder said in the release. “We believe we must have the ambition to grab this opportunity and turn Camden Town Brewery, and the quality it stands for, from being an outstanding London brewer to being a world famous one.”

Although specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the deal could be valued at about $93 million, according to The Guardian. Camden Town Brewery sold about 12 million pints (roughly 57,000 U.S. barrels) in 2015.

Earlier this year, the Camden Town Brewery turned to crowdfunding website “Crowdcube” to raise more than $3 million from 2,173 investors. In a letter to shareholders, obtained by The Guardian, Camden Town Brewery said investors would be offered as much as $1.37 per share as part of the buyout.

Although much of Brewbound’s coverage has focused on A-B InBev’s U.S. craft acquisitions in 2015 — including Four Peaks, Golden and Elysian Brewing — the drinks giant has also purchased a number of small breweries in foreign markets. In October, via its Labatt Breweries of Canada subsidiary, it purchased Toronto’s Mills Street Brewery.

And, via its Ambev subsidiary, A-B InBev also made notable acquisitions in Brazil and Columbia in 2015: In July, it struck a deal with Cervejaria Colorado; in May it purchased Brazil’s Cervejaria Wäls and in February it bought Columbia’s largest craft brewery, Bogota Beer Company.

The Camden Town Brewery transaction, which is expected to close by January 7, 2016, represents a significantly smaller purchase price than the $108 billion A-B InBev plans spend to acquire the world’s second-largest beer company, SABMiller, which is also headquartered in London.

In response to the news, fellow U.K. craft brewery BrewDog, which also owns and operates a number of bars and has made a noisy habit of only supporting independently-owned craft breweries at its establishments, vowed to no longer sell Camden Town Brewery products.

A full press release from Camden Town Brewery is included below.

LONDON — Camden Town Brewery today announced that it is partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) to pave the way for further growth and expansion. The partnership will enable Camden Town Brewery to expand its operations, bringing more of its popular canned, bottled and kegged beer to more people. The deal will see AB InBev acquire Camden Town Brewery.

Founded by Jasper Cuppaidge, the owner of The Horseshoe pub in Hampstead, Camden Town Brewery started full production in 2010. From an original staff of three people, it now employs a team of 95 and has sold 12 million pints in 2015. Their beers are available in over 1000 pubs, bars, restaurants and retailers around the UK, as well as further afield in Sweden, Australia and Japan.

The deal follows a successful bid by Camden Town Brewery to raise capital via crowd funding and will support the company’s plan to build a second brewery in London, employing 30 more people and meeting growing demand for its products. The partnership will enable Camden Town Brewery to brew more of its own distinctive beers and continue to innovate, while maintaining its focus on quality.

Jasper Cuppaidge said: “Our growth has been phenomenal. To keep up with the demand for our distinctive beers we’ve had to look at expanding our brewing capacity and team. AB InBev is going to be our strategic partner, helping us maintain the character and quality of our beers, while giving us access to the investment we need to drive Camden to being ever more successful at home and abroad.

“Opportunities like this come rarely. We believe we must have the ambition to grab this opportunity and turn Camden Town Brewery, and the quality it stands for, from being an outstanding London brewer to being a world famous one.”

Iain Newell, European Director of Specialities & Craft, AB InBev, said: “We have a passion for great beer. Camden Town is a creative business with a great range of brands that will complement our existing portfolio. We will support their ambitious plans for the future, using our expertise and global distribution network to help them get their great beer to more people.”

The deal is expected to close by 7th January 2016, following which Camden Town Brewery will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AB InBev. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

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