North American Breweries, Makers of Pyramid & Magic Hat, Up For Sale?
The craft beer business is booming, but American beer sales are down. Most of the decrease in sales is attributed to people moving to cocktails and spirits. The macro breweries are hurting the most, but regional craft brewers like the Craft Brewers Alliance (Widmer, Kona, Redhook) are feeling the heat as well.
All this fluctuation is making beer brands a hot commodity for sale, as evidenced again by a report by Reuters last night saying North American Brewers, maker of Pyramid and Magic Hat and seller of Gennessee and Labatt's in the US, is up for sale. Pyramid also brews local brands Buffalo Bill's and MacTarnahan's beers. NAB is already owned by KPS Capital Partners, a private equity group in it for the money moreso than the love of beer that has put it up on the block.
So who is buying? NAB is one of those brewing groups that has been struggling lately, so it's a risk for any buyer unless they intend to build them up or the brands fill a niche in their beer portfolio. Would AB Inbev consider tacking on NAB like it has Goose Island? I don't think that NAB has anything InBev would want. InBev already has a faux craft wheat beer brand it is focusing all of its efforts behind in the Shock Top series. Call me negative, but I think NAB is poised for failure, and to sell the company with all brands intact is a difficult proposition. If sold, I wouldn't be surprised if it's broken up and the brands are sold again.
More from Reuters here http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/06/genesse-labatt-sale-idINL2E8K5FNL20120906