Pyramid Breweries acquired by North American Breweries

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It was announced today that Independent Brewers United, Inc. (IBU) was acquired by North American Breweries, Inc.  On July 29th we reported that IBU (the company that owns the Pyramid Breweries, Magic Hat Brewing , and MacTarnahan’s brand families of beer) was rumored to be for sale and that NAB was the expected buyer. Today’s announcement confirms those rumors.

What impact this will have on Washington-based Pyramid Brewing remains to be seen. My gut feeling? Very little or no change will be visible to consumers.

Here is the official press release:

NEW YORK, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ — KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) today announced that its portfolio company North American Breweries, Inc. (“NAB”) has acquired Independent Brewers United, Inc. (“IBU”) through an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary. The acquisition is the fourth by NAB since its formation. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

IBU is one of the largest craft brewers in the United States, and its Magic Hat brand has been one of the fastest-growing craft brewers every year since 2005. The company produces, markets and sells the complete line of the Pyramid, Magic Hat and MacTarnahan’s brand families of beer. IBU operates three state-of-the-art breweries and six retail locations located in Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington.

KPS formed NAB in February 2009 as a North American platform for investments and growth in the beer and malt beverage industries. At that time, KPS also announced NAB’s first three acquisitions: Labatt USA from a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev; substantially all of the assets of High Falls Brewing Company, LLC (brewer of the Genesee, Honey Brown and Dundee family of beers); and a perpetual license for the Seagram’s Escapes and Seagram’s Smooth brands from Pernod Ricard USA, LLC.

Raquel Palmer, a Partner at KPS, said, “Our strategy at NAB is to grow organically as well as through strategic acquisition. We have reviewed numerous potential acquisition opportunities over the past year, and IBU was clearly the best strategic fit for NAB. For the past six years the craft segment has been the fastest-growing beer category in the United States. We believe IBU’s craft brands, especially Pyramid and Magic Hat, with their authenticity and heritage, are highly complementary to NAB’s current product portfolio. In addition, IBU’s significant West Coast presence through Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s greatly expands NAB’s footprint, while Magic Hat solidifies NAB’s strong presence in the Northeast.”

Richard Lozyniak, Chief Executive Officer of NAB, said, “NAB has experienced tremendous success with our existing brands over the past year, and we are extremely excited about adding Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s to our family of beers. We have extraordinary respect for the great heritage of these breweries and for the high quality beer they have brought to their consumers over many years. We are impressed with the growth IBU has achieved to date, and our plan is to continue to grow these brands while maintaining a commitment to their heritage and superior quality. NAB now has leading brands in every segment of the beer and malt beverage market, four significant breweries strategically located on the East and West Coasts and an energized and committed workforce. As always, we are grateful to our consumers, distributors, suppliers and employees for their contribution to our success.”

NAB was represented by John Cox and Peter Rosenbaum at Jenner & Block LLP.

About North American Breweries, Inc.

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, North American Breweries, Inc. is a national platform for investments and growth in the beer and malt beverage industries. Formed in 2009, North American Breweries owns Genesee Brewing Company, one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in the United States, and is the exclusive marketer and seller of Labatt brand beer and Seagram’s Escapes in the United States. The company’s brands include the complete line of Labatt beers, including the flagship pilsner Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light; the Genesee line, the Original Honey Brown Lager and Dundee Ales & Lagers; and Seagram’s Escapes. It is also America’s exclusive distributor of Imperial from Costa Rica and a manufacturer of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages under contracts on behalf of other companies. North American Breweries is a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP. For more information about North American Breweries, please visit www.nabreweries.com.

About Independent Brewers United, Inc.

Headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, Independent Brewers United, Inc. is one of the largest craft brewers in the United States. Through its subsidiaries, IBU produces, markets and sells the complete line of the Pyramid, Magic Hat and MacTarnahan’s brand families of beer. IBU operates three breweries and six retail locations in Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington. Additional information on IBU’s brands can be found at www.pyramidbrew.com, www.magichat.net and www.macsbeer.com.

About KPS Capital Partners, LP

KPS Capital Partners, LP is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of private equity funds with over $2.6 billion of committed capital focused on constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds and other special situations. KPS has created new companies to purchase operating assets out of bankruptcy; established stand-alone entities to operate divested assets; and recapitalized highly leveraged public and private companies. The KPS investment strategy targets companies with strong franchises that are experiencing operating and financial problems. KPS invests its capital concurrently with a turnaround plan predicated on cost reduction, capital investment and capital availability. Typically, the KPS turnaround plan is accompanied by a financial restructuring of the company’s liabilities. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at the firm’s website: www.kpsfund.com.

SOURCE KPS Capital Partners, LP

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