Posted in Dogfish Head, Headlines

Dogfish Head Sells 15% Equity Stake

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE) has sold a 15% stake in the brewery to LNK Partners, a  New York based private equity firm. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Before the “buy-out/sell-out” accusations swirl, it is brewery founder Sam Calagione’s ultimate plan to buy back the equity stake in the coming years.

Some important things to note about this transaction (as noted by the brewery). This equity deal is NOT a move towards a Dogfish Head IPO, or majority ownership. The brewery is family run, and will remain so. The equity acquisition is move for smart growth, not fast growth.

Today, I am excited to announce that Mariah and I added a new asset as external support to Dogfish Head – LNK Partners.  You are likely thinking, who or what is that? Well, they are an incredibly smart and experienced group of people who have worked with companies of all sizes and styles like Levi’s, Performance Bicycle, Gatorade and Calvin Klein to help those guys achieve their goals in their respective industries. LNK is making an investment to own 15% percent of our company…

LNK Partners will have a seat on Dogfish Head’s Board of Directors.

Dogfish Head recently completed a $50 million dollar expansion, and has been re-entering markets they were forced to withdraw from due to production capacity issues.

Even more importantly – The Brewer’s Association states that a brewery is still considered and independent brewery (by their definition) when “Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.”

5 thoughts on “Dogfish Head Sells 15% Equity Stake

  1. I don’t understand why the brewery’s status with the Brewer’s Association is important at all. As far as I can tell, people really don’t care as long as the products are available and have the expected (high) quality.

    • Jim, the importance of stressing this factor is basic public perception of equity purchase and buy-out. As you can see lately, there have been quite a few brewery purchases and sales. If you read over the FB and site comments, many folks perceive the product to no longer be worth of their glass because of a sale or equity purchase.

      What I wanted to stress is what the Brewer’s Association stresses is independent and craft, so the public doesn’t lose faith in a brewery like Dogfish Head. In a perfect world, it’s the quality of the liquid that should matter, but that’s not always the case.

  2. The BA definition gives a free pass to PE firms and the BA hasn’t offered a logical explanation as to why. So even if DFH sold 100% to LNK, they’d still be deemed “craft” in the eyes of Paul, Charlie and the rest of the folks in Boulder, Colo.

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