New Belgium, a 100% employee-owned company, may be up for sale, according to Reuters.
Seem too crazy to happen? Probably. Reuters recently reported Atlanta, Georgia based SweetWater Brewing Company was prepping to go public, but months later, there still isn’t even a whiff of an initial public offering.
Advisory firm Lazard Middle Market is apparently advising New Belgium on on the sale, which could be worth more than $1 billion dollars.
Beer Street Journal have reached out to New Belgium and Lazard, with no responses.
The brewery was 41% owned by employees, with CEO Kim Jordan owning the controlling share, until January, 2013 when they transitioned to 100% employee ownership. At the time, Jordan was quoted as saying:
We have an opportunity to write the next chapter of this incredible story and we’re really excited about that,” said New Belgium CEO and co-founder, Kim Jordan. “We have always had a high involvement ownership culture and this allows us to take that to the next logical level. It will provide an elegant succession framework that keeps the executive team intact ensuring our vision stays true going forward.”
A New Belgium sale seems highly unlikely, but easier than you might think.Despite the fact they are 100% employee owned, in most cases of this type a majority vote would be the only thing needed to approve a sale.
The brewery has always been proud of its ownership. A company sale would strike at New Belgium’s core values.
Then again, few people saw the Goose Island purchase coming years ago.
That changed everything.