Beer Business Daily:
Late last night, while your editor was drinking beer (natch), I saw the latest tie-up come through the wires around 9 p.m.
“In an agreement signed earlier this week, Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Duvel Moortgat will combine their two companies in the USA ,” Duvel and Firestone announced. “The California brewery will continue to operate independently in Paso Robles under its current leadership of David Walker and Adam Firestone.” (Terms of course were not disclosed, but we can only assume this means a majority stake if not a complete buyout, but that’s just our conjecture at this point.)
Deal is expected to close later this year. First Beverage Group acted as financial advisor to Firestone Walker, and Spencer Fane Britt & Browne provided legal counsel. ING acted as financial advisor to Duvel Moortgat, and McDermott Will & Emery provided legal counsel.
Joint founders of the 20-year-old Firestone Walker company, David Walker and Adam Firestone, said the two family-oriented companies have “combined forces to broaden their capacity and scope as brewers.” There’s a mutual admiration and a cultural fit. “The partnership will allow Firestone Walker to develop our capacity across the U.S. in a conservative and thoughtful way by consummating a life long tie with this family-owned international craft brewer, who continue their commitment to participating in the American Craft Revolution.” They’re staying in Paso, and staying on. And their “people and partnerships will remain.”
Indeed, Duvel Moortgat USA president Simon Thorpe said the most important thing they can do to help Firestone ” is to help David and Adam manage the exponential growth that their team and their brewery is experiencing right now by providing financial and production capacity to support them.” He added that they are not integrating the organizations. “Both Boulevard and Ommegang are also enjoying tremendous success and we still have much to do in realizing our dream for both these breweries.”
For his part, Duvel Moortgat CEO Michel Moortgat said the relationship he’s built with David and Adam made Firestone “the perfect fit for future growth”: “We share the same values; have a great mutual respect for each other’s achievements and a deeply-held belief in exceptional quality as a platform for long-term success. Bringing Firestone Walker together with Boulevard, Ommegang, Duvel and the other craft breweries in our family creates a stronger platform in the USA for us both and allows us to collaborate on brewing in different locations across the USA.”