Heineken takes remaining stake of Lagunitas Brewing – Consumer News

on May5

4 May 2017 | 4:00 pm

Less than a year and a half after selling a 50 percent stake to Heineken International, Lagunitas Brewing is selling its remaining stake to the Dutch brewer in a deal that’s been rumored to be in the works for several months. Terms were not disclosed.

Petaluma, Calif.-based Lagunitas, led by Chicago native Tony Magee, operates the largest brewery in Chicago, a 300,000-square-foot, $26 million facility in Douglas Park that supplies the Midwest, the East Coast and Europe with its hop-forward beers, including its flagship IPA.

Amsterdam-based Heineken, which announced its 50 percent stake in Lagunitas in September 2015, now has full control of the brand, which is likely to become its international “craft” flagship. Family-owned Heineken, which operates more than 165 breweries around the world, became the second-largest brewery company worldwide after last year’s Anheuser-Busch InBev purchase of SAB Miller.

Magee, 57, who at times butted heads with Heineken executives during the transition, will remain with the brand as Lagunitas’ executive chairman. He’ll also become Heineken’s global craft director, a newly created role in which he’ll work with the company’s chief commercial officer to help guide their approach to small brewing around the world.

“Some who don’t fully understand it all may say it is selling out,” Magee wrote in a blog post on his personal website. “Truth is that we … are now ‘buying in.’ I am using Lagunitas’ equity to buy deeper into an organization that will help us go farther more quickly than we could have on our own.”

Prior to selling the stake to Heineken, Lagunitas in 2014 was the sixth-largest craft brewer in the U.S. and the 11th-largest among all brewers, according to data from the Brewers Association, a trade group. It has since increased capacity in its Chicago brewery and, combined with its California brewery, has the capacity to make 1.5 million barrels of beer a year. It also has inched closer to opening a third production brewery, in Southern California, which is expected in 2018.

With Heineken in tow, Lagunitas also opened taprooms in Seattle and Charleston, S.C., and bought stakes in three U.S. breweries: Austin, Texas’ Independence Brewing; Santa Rosa, Calif.’s Moonlight Brewing; and Southend Brewery & Smokehouse in Charleston, S.C., which was rebranded as a Lagunitas brewpub.

Lagunitas CEO Maria Stipp, whom Magee brought in to run the company in early 2015, will retain her role.



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