Added by on 2015-12-23

Reuters gave us the not-so-secret over the weekend.

Employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Company, which owns craft beer brand Fat Tire, is looking for a buyer that could the value the U.S. company at more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

A billion sounds a little low to me, since Ballast Point went for right around that amount.  As much as I love Sculpin, it’s hardly the household name that Fat Tire has become.

It’s interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the 100% employee ownership of the company.  There should be some fairly enormous windfalls for several key figures inside the company if any deal goes through.  New Belgium is also a “B Corp”— a kind of certification that an organization is dedicated to environmental sustainability and community outreach.

To an old-fashioned investor, B Corp certification might look like an unnecessary drag on the bottom line. An unethical buyer might make promises to get New Belgium’s employee shareholders to approve a sale, without intending to keep them.

Indeed, that is a potentially sticky widget.   But a potential buyer might also consider what has made similar takeovers (Goose Island comes to mind) work well for consumers of the brand–if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Beers, Breweries, News

Leave a Reply