Heineken, established in 1864 and now the leading brewer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands, and The Lagunitas Brewing Company ("Lagunitas"), based in Petaluma, California, announced that they have entered into a new partnership, which will allow Lagunitas to export American craft beer globally.
Heineken and Lagunitas will form a joint venture and Lagunitas will continue to operate independently in the United States, maintaining the integrity of its brews and culture. Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas, will remain at the helm, with the same leadership and staff, same brewers, same recipes and same suppliers and distributors helping to drive the brand forward.
Both companies will benefit from the partnership. Heineken provides Lagunitas with a global opportunity to present its beers to new consumers and Lagunitas provides Heineken with the opportunity to build a strong foothold in the dynamic craft brewing category on a global scale, with the category growing in popularity.
"This venture will create a way for Lagunitas to help Heineken's global distribution network participate in the growing craft beer category in places from Tierra Del Fuego and Mongolia to the far-flung Isle of Langerhans," Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas, said. "Lagunitas will share in the best quality processes in the world and enjoy an open door to opportunities that took lifetimes to build. This alliance with the world's most international brewer represents a profound victory for American craft. It will open doors that had previously been shut and bring the U.S. craft beer vibe to communities all over the world."
Jean-François van Boxmeer, a lifelong beer aficionado and now CEO of Heineken added: "We are very excited to partner with Lagunitas. We recognize and respect the tremendous success of Tony and his team in building one of the great American Craft Beer brands. We look forward to that same team partnering with us to expand Lagunitas globally, so it can reach parts that other craft beer brands have not."
Lagunitas has breweries in Petaluma, California, and Chicago, with a total capacity of 1.2 million barrels. A third brewery under construction is scheduled to open in Azusa, California, in 2017, which will help Lagunitas keep pace with current demand. Heineken, on the other hand, has 180 of those buggers everywhere.
The partnership details have been agreed to and signed and is expected to close early in the fourth quarter.
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Lagunitas and Sidley-Austin LLP and McNeil, Silveira, Rice & Wiley served as legal counsel.