KPS Capital Partners buys into craft beer growth

KPS Capital Partners buys into craft beer growth

Labatt USA owner KPS Capital Partners will take advantage of craft beer sales growth in by acquiring Independent Brewers United (IBU), which owns Pyramid, Magic Hat and MacTarnahan's companies.

The deal marks the fourth acquisition by KPS Capital Partners' North American Breweries (NAB) unit since the private equity firm established the business division in early 2009. Financial details were not disclosed.

Its move for IBU comes on the back of strong sales growth for the craft beer sector, which has outperformed a shrinking US beer market so far in 2010. IBU operates three breweries and six retail locations located in Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington.

"For the past six years the craft segment has been the fastest-growing beer category in the US," said Raquel Palmer, a partner at KPS. "We have reviewed numerous potential acquisition opportunities over the past year, and IBU was clearly the best strategic fit for NAB," she said.

"IBU's significant West Coast presence through Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s greatly expands NAB's footprint, while Magic Hat solidifies NAB’s strong presence in the Northeast.”

NAB's CEO, Richard Lozyniak, said: "We are impressed with the growth IBU has achieved to date, and our plan is to continue to grow these brands while maintaining a commitment to their heritage and superior quality."

KPS founded NAB after acquiring Labatt USA from Anheuser-Busch InBev. It has since also acquired High Falls Brewing Co and secured a perpetual licence for the Seagram’s Escapes and Seagram’s Smooth brands from Pernod Ricard USA.