Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing has been acquired by Lion Little World Beverages, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings Company Limited, a Japan-based company.
New Belgium is the largest craft brewery in Colorado, as well as employee-owned. Beer Street Journal is told those employee-owners will receive north of $100,000 dollars each in retirement money through the deal, which will close by the end of 2019 for an undisclosed amount.
In a letter to the employees of New Belgium, which spans both Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina, founder Kim Jordan wrote “… We will no longer be employee-owned and it would be easy to see that as a drawback… but here’s another way to look at it.. Over the life of our ESOP, the total amount paid to current and former employees will be nearly $190 million dollars.
Magnolia Brewing Company, in which New Belgium owns an ownership stake, is included in the deal. The minority stake that New Belgium doesn’t own will be acquired from Dick Cantwell and Oud Beersel. Cantwell is said to still play a role in the company going forward.
Lion Little World is a global craft beverage company, that is owned by Kirin Holdings Limited. Kirin also owns a 24.5% stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.