Columbia Distributing Strikes Again; Plans to Acquire Marine View Beverage

One week after announcing plans to acquire Oregon-based General Distributors, Portland’s Columbia Distributing today said it would purchase a majority of the assets of western Washington-based wholesaler Marine View Beverage.

A purchase price was not disclosed. The deal, which is slated to close April 30, will add nearly 8 million cases to Columbia’s business, according to Marine View’s website.

“This acquisition drive’s Columbia’s brand promise: To provide ongoing, sustainable opportunities and growth for all,” Columbia president and CEO Chris Steffanci said via a press release. “We’re purchasing a first-class industry leader and have tremendous respect for the business Marine View has built.”

In an email to Brewbound, Steffanci said Columbia would distribute more than 70 million cases across its operations in Oregon, Washington and California following the acquisition. More than 70 percent of Columbia’s business is in beer, he added. The January acquisition of Oregon City-based General Distributors, which is slated to close March 31, added more than 3 million cases to Columbia’s business.

Marine View Beverage, which itself was formed through the merger of three wholesalers — Western Beer Distributing, Black Hills Distributing and Jennings Distributing — in 2002, operates distribution centers in Sumner, Poulsbo, Port Angeles and Tumwater.

“From our humble beginnings to where we are today – it’s a proud yet bittersweet moment,” Marine View co-owner Fred Bevegni said via a press release. “BJ [Bjerke, co-owner] along with our dear friend and partner, the late Lance Kahn, set out to form a company with a unique leadership model, outstanding customer service and superior employee competence. We hit the mark on all of those. Columbia is purchasing one of the best.”

Marine View sells products from more than 120 beer, water and energy drink suppliers in seven western Washington counties — Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Thurston and part of King County. According to Steffanci, the two companies have overlapping footprints in five counties, while the other two (Clallam and Jefferson) are serviced by Olympic Distributing, a third-party partner that also sells Columbia’s brands.

Nevertheless, the two companies distribute offerings from many of the same companies, including MillerCoors, Constellation Brands, Heineken, Boston Beer Company, Mark Anthony Brands, Diageo and Sierra Nevada, among several other craft beer companies.

“The acquisition also allows us to expand many brands where we see potential for growth opportunities,” Steffanci wrote.

Steffanci added that Columbia is still evaluating how many of Marine View’s 300 employees will be needed to service the accounts and territories that it is picking up.

“The goal is to employ as many current Marine View employees as possible, including a number of Marine View’s key leaders,” he wrote.

Lindsi Taylor, Columbia’s director of corporate communications, added that the company is still finalizing its operating model but expects “to maintain most of the warehouses within these market area.”

Independent Beverage Group, a beverage consultancy led by beer industry veteran Joe Thompson, acted as an advisor to Marine View. Columbia represented itself in the deal, Taylor said.

A press release with more information is included below.

Columbia Distributing to Acquire Marine View Beverage

Pac NW-based distributor affirms commitment to craft brewers, employees, consumers and the community

KENT, Washington (February 7, 2018) – Columbia Distributing today announced it will purchase the majority of the assets of Marine View Beverage based in Sumner, Poulsbo, Port Angeles and Tumwater, Washington. Marine View represents a portfolio of more than 120 international, national and local beer, energy and water suppliers. The deal furthers Columbia’s commitment to building brands and diversifying its portfolio. The transaction is expected to close onApril 30, 2018.

“Columbia is a growth company and we all benefit from this – our employees, our brands, the consumer and the community,” said Chris Steffanci, Columbia’s president and CEO. “As a company with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, we take great pride in the creation of 3,000+ living-wage jobs, offering exceptional beverage choices and variety for the consumer, and sharing our success through many community partnerships.”

“This acquisition drive’s Columbia’s brand promise: To provide ongoing, sustainable opportunities and growth for all. We’re purchasing a first-class industry leader and have tremendous respect for the business Marine View has built,” added Steffanci.

“From our humble beginnings to where we are today – it’s a proud yet bittersweet moment,” said Fred Bevegni, Marine View’s co-owner. “BJ [Bjerke, co-owner] along with our dear friend and partner, the late Lance Kahn, set out to form a company with a unique leadership model, outstanding customer service and superior employee competence. We hit the mark on all of those. Columbia is purchasing one of the best.”

About Columbia Distributing

Since 1935, Columbia Distributing has helped build some of the best known brands in the beverage business. Today Columbia Distributing and its 3,000+ employees service over 20,000 retail customers covering more than 135,000 square miles in Oregon, Washington and California. Columbia’s success is based on the deep-rooted tradition of delivering quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for customers’ needs. This is achieved by providing ongoing, sustainable opportunities and growth for its employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and communities. For more information on Columbia Distributing, please visit www.coldist.com.

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