Central California Beer Distributor Sold


Two California beer distributors are growing their portfolios via acquisition.

DBI Beverage Inc. and Valley Wide Beverage Company have expanded their operations in Central California with the joint purchase of assets from Ceres-based Cencal Beverage Co., LLC., the two companies announced in a statement.

Specific financial terms of the transaction, which closed on June 19, were not disclosed. In the statement, DBI said 2.2 million new cases would be added to its annual business. Valley Wide will increase its yearly volume by 600,000 cases, the release stated.

DBI took over approximately 80 percent of the territory that was once controlled by Cencal, according to company spokesman Pete Leesha. It’s an area of Central California that borders DBI’s existing operations in the San Jose, San Joaquin and Truckee regions.

DBI, which sells an estimated 29 million cases throughout its nine Northern California distributorships, purchased the distribution rights to a swath of brands from 24 different malt beverage suppliers. Craft stalwarts like 21st Amendment, Anchor Brewing, New Belgium and Lagunitas were among the notable craft brands involved in the transaction.

DBI will look to expand its craft offerings in the newly acquired area as well, said Leesha.

“We’ve still got work to do in the craft beer category,” he said. “We are committed to craft and are looking to add a few more to our Modesto portfolio.”

DBI has a history of growing through acquisition. The company, launched in 2002 by Ingram Entertainment Inc. chairman David Ingram, entered the beer distribution business with the purchase of Crown Distributing Co. in Tennessee. The company would later sell that operation to focus on purchases in California.

In 2005, DBI acquired San Francisco’s largest beer distributor, Golden Brands. In 2007, it acquired Sacramento’s Mesa Beverage and in April 2008 it purchased two wholesalers in Napa and San Jose, Calif. Later that year, DBI purchased Capital Beverage Co. and in 2010, it acquired Maita Distributors in San Mateo County.

Leesha said DBI would continue to look at acquisition as a growth strategy.

“We look at those opportunities as they become available to us,” he said.