Heineken & Lagunitas Deal Pushes Craft Beer Growth

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Heineken & Lagunitas Deal Pushes Craft Beer Growth


PETALUMA, Calif. — Heineken NV has acquired the remaining shares of Lagunitas Brewing Co., expanding a partnership that dates back to 2015.

The two brewing companies entered into a joint venture in September 2015, when Heineken took a 50-percent stake in the craft beer company, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Under the new agreement, Lagunitas will continue to operate as an independent entity within Heineken and will report within the Heineken Americas Region. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tony Magee, the founder of Lagunitas, will continue as the executive chairman of the company and will be supported by his current management team. He will continue to oversee culture, brand and recipe creation, according to the Petaluma-based company.

In addition, Magee will consult separately in a leading advisory role as director of global craft to Heineken and its executive board on the global and local craft strategy.

"During the 19 months of our partnership we have come to trust and truly believe in each other. Through that we have found ourselves aligned on how to bring the vibe of U.S. craft-brewing to beer lovers everywhere. 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.

The full tie-up of Lagunitas and Heineken will help the companies to accelerate the growth of craft beer internationally by removing the complexity of the joint venture, according to Lagunitas.

Lagunitas can now make the most of Heineken's financial strength and global infrastructure, while Heineken will also still learn from Lagunitas' understanding of craft beer and the hopes of beer lovers, it added.

"Our partnership with Lagunitas has been a great success and today's announcement marks the next stage of an exciting journey," said Jean-François van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Heineken. "We look forward to accelerating the roll-out of Lagunitas to many more markets, and sharing craft beer with many more beer lovers around the world."

Lagunitas has breweries in Petaluma and Chicago with a total capacity of 1,500,420 barrels. A third brewery under construction is scheduled to open in Azusa, Calif., in 2018. Amsterdam-based Heineken has more than 165 breweries in more than 70 countries.