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Heineken N.V. is upping its stake in the U.S. craft beer segment with the acquisition of a 50-percent shareholding in the Lagunitas Brewing Co., the fifth largest craft brewer in the United States by volume.
The partnership will provide Heineken with the opportunity to build a strong foothold in the craft brewing category on a global scale, while providing Lagunitas with an opportunity to present its beers to new consumers in a category that is showing international growth opportunities, according to Heineken.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter. Financial terms are not disclosed.
Lagunitas was founded in 1993 and its brand portfolio includes Lagunitas IPA, the largest India Pale Ale brand in the country. It has two breweries, one in Chicago and the other in Petaluma. A third brewery is under construction in Azusa, Calif. Its other leading brands include A Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Daytime, Pils, Sucks, Hop Stoopid and Maximus.
Lagunitas also has expanded into a number of other markets including the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden and Japan.
Tony Magee, founder and executive chairman of Lagunitas, will continue to lead the company alongside the existing management team. Lagunitas will continue to operate as an independent entity.
"This venture will create a way for Lagunitas to let Heineken participate in the growing craft beer category across its global distribution network in places from Tierra Del Fuego and Mongolia to the far-flung Isle of Langerhans," Magee said.
"Lagunitas will share in the best quality processes in the world and enjoy access to opportunities that took lifetimes to build. This alliance with the world's most international brewer represents a profound victory for U.S. craft. It will open doors that had previously been shut and bring the U.S. craft beer vibe to communities all over the world," he added.