Craft Brew Alliance CFO Steps Down as A-B Exec is Appointed to Board

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) this week announced a pair of key leadership changes, including the departure of chief financial officer Joseph Vanderstelt and the appointment of João Paulo Falcão Vieira, vice president of Anheuser-Busch’s (A-B) North American Zone, to its board of directors.

The timing of the two announcements were unrelated, CBA spokeswoman Jenny McLean told Brewbound.

Vanderstelt, who was hired as the CFO of CBA in mid-2015 and previously served as the senior director of finance and planning for MillerCoors, has accepted a “similar” position with an undisclosed non-alcoholic beverage company located on the East Coast, according to a press release.

“Joe’s management and focus on building the right team with the right level of experience and leadership have helped establish CBA in the best financial health of our company’s history,” Andy Thomas, the CEO of CBA, said via the release. “We appreciate his many contributions and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”

A replacement has not been named, but the press release noted that CBA management would “work with Mr. Vanderstelt over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities.”

Vanderstelt, who will remain a CBA shareholder and currently owns 10,035 shares of stock and options, will officially exit the company on July 13.

“It was not an easy decision to leave CBA, but I feel really confident in the team that’s in place and their ability to continue building on the strong progress we’ve made over the past few years,” Vanderstelt added, via the release.

In his time with CBA, Vanderstelt helped the company grow net sales from about $200 million in 2014, to more than $207 million in 2017. During that same period, CBA’s gross profits also grew from about $58.7 million to $65.2 million.

CBA stock (BREW) traded at $13.03 when Vanderstelt joined the company on April 27, 2015. It closed at $20.05 today.

Meanwhile, Falcão Vieira supplants Michael Taylor, who departed A-B to become CEO of Green Flash Brewing in San Diego.

“JP is a great addition to CBA’s Board of Directors,” CBA board chairman David Lord said, via a release. “As CBA continues to focus on accelerating its Kona Plus strategy and tapping into Kona’s growing relevance as a global lifestyle brand, JP’s international business experience and knowledge of the high end beer market will be extremely valuable.”

A-B, which owns a 31.4 percent stake in CBA, can designate two people to serve on the eight-member board as part of its 2011 agreement with the Portland, Oregon-based craft beer company, whose brands include Kona, Redhook, Widmer Brothers, Omission, and Square Mile cider as well as strategic partnerships with Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers and Wynwood Brewing.

Falcão Vieira has served in several leadership roles with A-B between 2011 and 2017 in its Ambev Brazil division, most recently working as vice president of The High End there. According to his LinkedIn, Falcão Vieira has also worked on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for A-B since March 2017.

Taylor, who most recently served as vice president of M&A for A-B and oversaw the company’s newly acquired Hiball and Alta Palla brands, had served on the CBA board since January 1, 2017.

The leadership changes come as the working relationship between CBA and A-B has expanded over the last two years to include various cross-brewing initiatives, an improved focus on the distribution of CBA brands via A-B’s domestic and international wholesaler networks, and the option for A-B to purchase the company.

As a result, some analysts have speculated that A-B could soon move to submit a qualifying offer to acquire CBA.

During a call with investors and analysts in February, Thomas declined to comment on the likelihood of that transpiring before August 2019, saying only that the “plan is to continue working together to drive value for each other the best that we can.”

For its part, A-B is still waiting on a federal judge to give final approval of the $100 billion takeover of SABMiller. Earlier this month, an $84.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner was given the green light, potentially paving the way for the approval of A-B’s acquisition of SABMiller. If MegaBrew is approved before August 2019, it is possible A-B would move to submit a qualifying offer for CBA, instead of paying a $20 million fee.

Press releases with additional information are included below.

Craft Brew Alliance Announces Departure of CFO

Portland, Ore. (June 20, 2018) – Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), a leading craft brewing company, today announced that Joseph K. Vanderstelt, chief financial officer, will be departing the company, effective July 13, 2018. Mr. Vanderstelt has resigned his position at CBA to accept another career opportunity on the east coast.

“Joe’s management and focus on building the right team with the right level of experience and leadership have helped establish CBA in the best financial health of our company’s history. We appreciate his many contributions and wish him the best in his next endeavor,” said Andy Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, CBA. “Looking ahead, we feel really good about the team we have in place and their continued strong financial stewardship and management of CBA. As a result of their great work, CBA has never been in a stronger position to invest behind our Kona Plus strategy and continue moving the company forward.”

“It was not an easy decision to leave CBA, but I feel really confident in the team that’s in place and their ability to continue building on the strong progress we’ve made over the past few years,” said Vanderstelt. “Given today’s increasingly complex and challenging beer market, the work that Andy and the team have accomplished is remarkable.”

CBA’s management will work with Mr. Vanderstelt over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities. In the interim period until a new CFO is appointed, CBA remains confident that its team will continue the strong financial stewardship and management of the company.

In addition, CBA’s announced financial reporting calendar remains unchanged, and the company will release its second quarter financial results on August 8, 2018, with an investor conference call on August 9, 2018, as planned.

About Craft Brew Alliance

CBA is an independent craft brewing company that brews, brands, and brings to market world-class American craft beers.

Our distinctive portfolio combines the power of Kona Brewing Company, a dynamic, growing national craft beer brand, with strong regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Wynwood Brewing Co. CBA nurtures the growth and development of its brands in today’s increasingly competitive beer market through our state-of-the-art brewing and distribution capability, integrated sales and marketing infrastructure, and strong focus on partnerships, local community and sustainability.

Formed in 2008, CBA is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and operates breweries and brewpubs across the U.S. CBA beers are available in all 50 U.S. states and 30 different countries around the world. For more information about CBA and our brands, please visit www.craftbrew.com.

Craft Brew Alliance Announces New Board Member

Portland, OR – Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), a leading craft brewing company, announced today that João Paulo Falcão Vieira has been appointed to its Board of Directors, effective June 13, 2018. Mr. Falcão Vieira replaces Michael R. Taylor, who departed CBA’s Board last month.

“JP is a great addition to CBA’s Board of Directors,” said David Lord, Chairman, Craft Brew Alliance Board of Directors. “As CBA continues to focus on accelerating its Kona Plus strategy and tapping into Kona’s growing relevance as a global lifestyle brand, JP’s international business experience and knowledge of the high end beer market will be extremely valuable. On behalf of the Board, I also want to acknowledge Michael’s contributions and support of CBA during his time here; we wish him the best of luck in his new role.”

Mr. Falcão Vieira currently serves as a Vice President for the North America Zone of Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC (“A-B”). Previously, he held several leadership roles at Ambev Brazil from 2011 to 2017, where he most recently served as Vice President of The High End, and before that as Sales Vice President for the Northeast Region. He has a degree in Business Administration from the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo.

As part of the Amended and Restated Exchange and Recapitalization Agreement between A-B and CBA, A-B may designate two individuals as directors of CBA. A-B designated Mr. Falcão Vieira to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Taylor’s departure.

About Craft Brew Alliance

CBA is an independent craft brewing company that brews, brands, and brings to market world-class American craft beers.

Our distinctive portfolio combines the power of Kona Brewing Company, a dynamic, growing national craft beer brand, with strong regional breweries and innovative lifestyle brands, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Wynwood Brewing Co. CBA nurtures the growth and development of its brands in today’s increasingly competitive beer market through our state-of-the-art brewing and distribution capability, integrated sales and marketing infrastructure, and strong focus on partnerships, local community and sustainability.

Formed in 2008, CBA is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and operates breweries and brewpubs across the U.S. CBA beers are available in all 50 U.S. states and 30 different countries around the world. For more information about CBA and our brands, please visit www.craftbrew.com.

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