US Justice Department approves Anheuser-Busch acquiring Craft Brew Alliance

USA – Anheuser-Busch, the domestic arm of global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, has been given a go ahead by the United States Department of Justice to acquire Craft Brew Alliance, one of the largest craft brewing companies in the U.S.

Anheuser-Busch already owns 31.2% of Craft Brew Alliance, a Portland, Oregon-based public company. In November, the two companies announced A-B would buy the remaining shares. The Alliance owns brands such as Kona Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

“We look forward to combining our resources, talented teammates, and dynamic brands as we continue nurturing the growth of CBA’s existing portfolio and investing in innovation to meet the changing needs of today’s beverage consumers,” said Andy Thomas, CEO of Craft Brew Alliance.

The Justice Department sued in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to block the sale, but also proposed a settlement that would allow it to proceed if the alliance indeed sells Kona Hawaii and a judge approves. Failure to sell Kona would give the companies about 41% of the beer market on the islands and “substantially lessen head-to-head competition,” the department said.

“We look forward to combining our resources, talented teammates, and dynamic brands as we continue nurturing the growth of CBA’s existing portfolio and investing in innovation to meet the changing needs of today’s beverage consumers,”

Andy Thomas – CEO, Craft Brew Alliance

“The beer industry in the U.S. is competitive and dynamic, with more choices available to consumers than ever before,” said Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, Anheuser-Busch.

“CBA’s diverse portfolio of national lifestyle brands and award-winning regional breweries are an excellent complement to our family of craft partners and would continue to help fuel the growth of the craft beer category.”

Craft Brew Alliance said in June it would sell the Hawaiian operations of Kona to PV Brewing Partners, a group that includes Schnuck Markets President David Peacock, in order to win Justice Department approval.

Closing of the combination is expected to occur in the coming weeks. In connection with the closing, CBA shareholders will receive US$16.50 in cash per share of Craft Brew Alliance common stock, as previously announced.

Formed in 2008, CBA is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and operates breweries and brewpubs across the U.S. CBA beers are available in all 50 U.S. states and 30 different countries around the world. For more information about CBA and our brands.

For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, they own and operate more than 100 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities and packaging plants, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States.

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