Founders Brewing Co. has sold 30 percent minority ownership of the company to Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, Spain’s oldest brewer.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based brewery said the sale was initiated for a multitude of reasons, including to help drive growth, including through Mahou’s international distribution network.
“We knew that taking on a partner was the necessary, responsible thing to do for the future of Founders because it would open up new doors for growth as well as ensure our legacy for years to come,” said Mike Stevens, Founders ceo and co-founder, in a press release. “We spent a long time determining who would be the best partner to help us grow Founders while staying true to our beers and our culture. Mahou shares our family values and a commitment to their communities; they also believe in the importance of long-term partnerships. We are honored to be working with a brewer that commands so much respect.”
While Founders is expected to brew more than 200,000 barrels of beer this year, the brewery recently started production on a $30 million expansion project that will eventually allow the capacity to brew close to 900,000 barrels.
According to the brewery, the partnership will do nothing to affect any aspect of its distribution, existing wholesaler agreements or how its beers get to the marketplace.
“Founders will remain Founders,” says a post on Founders website. “Nothing will change—well, not any more that it does in a usual month at Founders, during a facility expansion, no less. We are committed to growing here in Grand Rapids. The brewery will stay here, and our beers will not change—though we’ll keep innovating. The entire Founders Family will stay intact. In fact, we’ll continue to grow the Founders Family as we have been for the past handful of years.”
Mahou-San Miguel has been slowly expanding its international efforts in recent years. The company bought some of its own beers to the U.S. market in 2011.
“We see our entry into Founders as a great source of learning, innovation and transformation for Mahou San Miguel in an extremely attractive and innovative, like the US, which is also the most valuable global beer market. A market brand consumer trends, with strong growth prospects in our company and our brands have much to contribute “ said Javier López del Hierro, president of Mahou San Miguel, in a translated press release “Founders, thanks to its expertise combining product excellence with commercial, is making a difference in the Craft segment, which now accounts for 15% of the beer market in the US, with annual growth of 20%.”
According to Mahou-San Miguel, the deal will be subject to approval by U.S. regulators. Founders says it expects to close in January.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. A report that came out following news of the Mahou-San Miguel investment says that Founders turned down a $300 million offer from MillerCoors for the company.
Founders was supposedly offered $300 million from MillerCoors to buy the whole co. according to Craft Brew News.
— John Craven @ BevNET (@BevNETCraven) December 17, 2014