beer-craft brew

AB InBev Expands Craft Brew Business with $225M Bosteels Acquisition

September 19, 2016

AB InBev continues to expand its craft brewing business with the addition of Belgian craft producer, Bosteels Brewery, through a deal reported to be valued at $225 million.

Founded in 1791 by Evarist Bosteels in the town of Buggenhout, Bosteel Brewery has been led by seven generations of the same family.

“After seven generations, I am very happy with this opportunity to hand over the Bosteels brands to a Belgian brewer that will be able to ensure their future success and growth in our country and beyond,” said Antoine Bosteels, chairman of the company in a recent statement.

After the completion of the deal Antione Bosteels will remain in his position with the company, which is backed by Dutch private equity firm Waterland. At this juncture it is not known if Waterland will reduce its holding in Bosteels through this transaction or exit the company completely, reports The Street.

Bosteels will join other recent AB InBev craft brewery acquisitions including Four Peaks Brewing Company, Cambed Town Brewery, Devil’s Backbone, Bira del Borgo, and Breckenridge Brewery, and will operate within AB InBev’s ‘craft & specialty’ network continuing to brew its well-known Tripel Karneliet, Kwak, and DeuS beers.

Although both businesses are located in the relatively small country of Belgium, industry insiders do not foresee the deal drumming up any issues with antitrust regulators. An AB InBev spokesperson told Just-Drinks that Bosteel’s portfolio was “complimentary” to AB InBev’s existing Belgian offerings, and with annual sales of €16 million (US$17.86 million) compared to InBev’s $43.6 billion in 2015, there is little comparison.

The acquisition comes in the midst of AB InBev’s efforts to gain all regulatory approval for its takeover of SAB Miller for $104.2 billion. In May of this year the European Commission granted its approval conditional upon AB InBev divesting itself of nearly all of SABMiller’s European beer business in Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. More recently, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that it will be closely tracking AB InBev’s craft acquisitions and distribution networks to ensure continued open competition in the beer industry.

Lynda Kiernan





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