Denver’s Renegade Brewing today announced the sale of an undisclosed stake to Silver Fox Partners, a Northeastern family office founded earlier this year by Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO and Chairwoman of the Xerox Corporation.
Specific financial terms of the deal, which was finalized last Wednesday, were not disclosed.
Renegade founder Brian O’Connell, who launched the brewery in 2011 with funding from about 20 friends and family investors, will continue to serve as CEO. All of the company’s original investors will also retain equity in the brewery, he told Brewbound.
“We are expecting to see some pretty huge growth, and everyone wants to stay in for the ride,” he said.
“This transaction solidifies Renegade as an independent craft brewery,” he added. “We have taken on significant capital and are participating in the market as an independent craft brewer from here on out.”
The decision to seek outside investment from a family office — a process that began in April — stemmed from a desire to “remain competitive” at a time when private equity firms and large breweries have purchased stakes in dozens of craft breweries around the U.S., O’Connell told Brewbound.
“For us to stay competitive, we needed a big boost,” he said. “We started as a small company, and we were constantly feeding money back into the business and bootstrapping.”
O’Connell said he plans to use the infusion of capital from Silver Fox to “enhance” the company’s current operations, develop a line of barrel-aged offerings and hire new sales, marketing and brewing personnel.
“This is an opportunity for us to do the things we’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t,” he said. “In a bootstrap model, we weren’t able to go out and do all the exploration we wanted. Now we can feed the engine we’ve already created.”
On its way to brewing about 6,000 barrels of beer, Renegade will grow about 35 percent in 2017, O’Connell said. The company is forecasting about 8,500 barrels of total output in 2018, he added.
In addition to its original brewery and taproom location, the company operates a 15,000 sq. ft. facility capable of producing 20,000 barrels annually. It currently distributes beer throughout Colorado via Elite Brands, and to Arizona, Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Renegade began packaging its beer in cans in 2012, and self-distributed its products until 2014. The company sells upwards of 450 barrels directly to consumers via its taproom, and about 35 percent of its total production is sold on draft, O’Connell said.
Renegade is at least the ninth Colorado-based craft brewery to be involved in a transaction this year. Backcountry Brewery, Deep Draft Brewery, De Steeg Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Walnut Brewery, Pug Ryan’s Brewery, Elk Mountain Brewing and 1933 Brewing all changed hands in 2017. Fort Collins-based Funkwerks also sold a minority stake to Brooklyn Brewery.
Those transactions followed much larger deals involving some of Colorado’s most recognizable breweries. In 2015, the owners of four brewing companies — Breckenridge Brewery (A-B), Odell Brewing (ESOP), Left Hand Brewing (ESOP) and Oskar Blues Brewery (Fireman Capital) — sold all or parts of their companies.
“Colorado is a great market for craft beer, and it is going to be a place where investors are interested,” O’Connell said. “If you are making it in Colorado, and growing in a competitive market, you are showing that you are a brand with some legs.”
This is Silver Fox Partners’ first investment. The Auctus Group acted as the advisor to Renegade.
A press release with additional details is below.
Renegade Brewing Announces Significant Growth Capital Investment from Northeast Family Office
DENVER, CO, November 6, 2017 — Renegade Brewing, a Denver-based brewery founded by Brian O’Connell in 2011, today announced a strategic partnership with Silver Fox Partners. Silver Fox Partners is the northeast-based family office of Anne Mulcahy, former chairman and CEO of the Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX). In this new partnership, O’Connell will retain ownership and remain CEO, continuing to lead all aspects of Renegade.
For more than six years, Renegade has demonstrated significant business results as an independent brewer and set forth a solid growth path. Together, O’Connell and Silver Fox’s leadership are committed to building upon this positive momentum while strengthening the foundational strategies already underway.
Silver Fox Partners will provide both financial and human capital to help accelerate Renegade’s production capabilities and enable greater focus on expanding distribution to new and existing markets. The investment will also spur new and innovative additions to the Renegade’s beer portfolio alongside the expansion of the Renegade barrel program. Other immediate plans include hiring additional staff to allow for greater interaction with customers and fans in both Colorado and the other 4 states (Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Ohio) where Renegade is currently available.
Presently, Renegade operates a taproom and production facility in the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver, and will brew approximately 6000 bbls in 2017. Renegade has been voted Best New Brewery and Best Taproom Ambiance, and has collected medals at the Great American Beer Festival, Craft Beer Awards, and the LA International Beer Competition. With this new investment, Renegade anticipates significant growth in 2018.
O’Connell said: “Renegade has been a fast-growing brand over the past six years in a competitive marketplace. We are thrilled to have a partner that can help us grow to the next level and reach even more Renegades. From our early discussions it was clear that Anne and Silver Fox Partners were aligned with our company values and goals, from our beers to our employees all the way down to our Tap 4 Tap program. This partnership will grow our brand without changing our values and solidifies Renegade in the market as an independent craft brewery.”
Anne Mulcahy, founder and Chairman, Silver Fox Partners said: “Renegade represents the type of opportunity that perfectly aligns with our overall strategy as long-term investors – strong management with committed leadership, and a business with a proven track record of success to build upon in the future.”
Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Renegade Brewing
Founded in 2011, Renegade is a craft brewery founded by homebrewer and craft beer enthusiast Brian O’Connell in the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver, CO. Renegade’s Mantra of Offensively Delicious guides the company in producing full flavored boundary pushing craft beer. This is beer for those who do the don’ts and don’t the dos, the Renegades. Renegade was founded in a 3000 SF facility in 2011 and produced 300 barrels of beer in the first year. In the past six years Renegade has expanded to four additional states producing 6000 barrels and now occupies a 15000 SF production facility in The Yard on Santa Fe in addition to their original location. In 2016 Renegade became the first craft brewery to utilize a one for one business model, donating one day of clean drinking water for every gallon of beer sold. For additional information about Renegade Brewing, please visit http://renegadebrewing.com/
About Silver Fox Partners
Silver Fox Partners, a family office founded in 2017 by former Xerox CEO/Chairman Anne Mulcahy, focuses investment capital on businesses that demonstrate both strong tangible (financials / assets) and intangible (leadership / mission / values) qualities over time. Their team brings enterprise strategy, marketing, financial guidance, and leadership development expertise to each of our partners, which will allow investment capital to be maximized for future growth. For additional information about Silver Fox Partners, please visit https://silverfoxcap.com/