Heineken Acquires Complete Control Of CA Craft Brewer

The Dutch beer giant originally acquired a 50 percent stake in Lagunitas Brewing Company in 2015.

Mnet 107016 Heineken

Dutch beer giant Heineken announced that this month it acquired the remaining half of Lagunitas Brewing Company nearly 20 months after purchasing a 50 percent stake in the craft brewer.

Petaluma, Calif.-based Lagunitas was the fifth-largest craft brewer in the country at the time of its initial partnership with Heineken in 2015. That initial deal was thought to be among the largest ever in the U.S. craft beer sector.

Brewing giants sought to snap up promising craft brewers in recent years as the craft segment of an otherwise stagnant U.S. beer market continues to grow. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Heineken officials said that the complete acquisition of Lagunitas would allow its beer to be introduced in "many more markets."

Lagunitas, known for its offerings in the fast-growing India Pale Ale segment, already exported beer to the U.K., Sweden and Japan — and was adding a third brewery in the U.S. — in late 2015.

In subsequent months, its exports grew in those nations — along with Canada and the Netherlands — and were added in Mexico, France, Italy and Spain.

"Our partnership with Lagunitas has been a great success and today's announcement marks the next stage of an exciting journey," said Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer.

Lagunitas will continue to operate as an independent entity within Heineken, and founder Tony Magee will serve as executive chairman with his current management team in place.

Magee, who will also take an advisory role with Heineken, said that both companies came to "trust and truly believe in each other" during their initial partnership.

"Only by fully committing to this relationship can we both respond to the historic opportunity that awaits us in all 24 time zones," Magee said.

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