Cannabis Company Purchases 8 Beer Labels From Anheuser-Busch

Tilray Brands, Inc., a global cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company, today announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch.

Upon closing of the deal, Tilray will acquire Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company, and HiBall Energy. The transaction includes current employees, breweries and brewpubs associated with these brands. The purchase price will be paid in all cash and the transaction is expected to close in 2023.

The deal is valued at $85 million in cash, according to an 8-K filing. The relatively low price has shocked many in the industry, especially given SweetWater alone was acquired from $300 million in 2020.

The deal will triple Tilray’s beer segment, increasing output from 4 million to 12 million cases annually.

“These beer and beverage brands possess the hallmarks of strong consumer loyalty and further diversify Tilray’s growing U.S. beverage alcohol segment”, states a press release. “The expected sales volume of the acquired brands will elevate Tilray Brands to the 5th largest craft beer business position in the U.S., up from the 9th, with current brands SweetWater Brewing Company, Montauk Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Green Flash Brewing Company.”

Tilray Brands also owns Breckenridge Distillery, the award-winning spirits brand and the World’s Best Blended Whisky, and Happy Flower CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktails.

Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and CEO, Tilray Brands, said, “Today’s announcement both solidifies our national leadership position and share in the U.S. craft brewing market and marks a major step forward in our diversification strategy. We are excited to work with the teams behind these iconic brands that command great consumer loyalty and have a history of delivering strong award-winning products with tremendous growth opportunities. Tilray is fully committed to invest in and champion the future of the U.S. craft beer industry by fueling new innovation that excites and further accelerates the growth of its consumer base.”

Mr. Simon continued, “Leveraging the deep CPG expertise of Tilray’s leadership team and acquisition integration track record, we intend to drive both revenue and cost synergies, while significantly expanding national distribution to coveted markets across the U.S. and internationally. In a matter of three years, Tilray has solidified its leadership position in the craft beer industry, and we fully intend to be that change agent that reinvigorates the sector. Upon federal cannabis legalization, we expect to leverage our leadership position, wide distribution network and portfolio of beloved beverage and wellness brands to include THC-based products and maximize all commercial opportunities.”

Andy Thomas, President, The High End at Anheuser-Busch said “Tilray Brands reached out to us early this year with interest in purchasing these brands and breweries, and since then, we’ve had many positive conversations that led to today’s announcement. The talented people behind these brands and breweries, along with our significant investments in them over the years, have positioned them for a bright future with Tilray Brands. We are committed to working with Tilray Brands over the coming months to ensure this is a smooth transition for the people who are working every day to get these amazing beers and beverages to consumers across the U.S.”

Ty Gilmore, President, U.S. Beer at Tilray Brands, added, “With this transaction, our beer business is expected to triple in size from 4 million cases to 12 million cases annually. Looking ahead, we will further capitalize on the potential of these brands through product innovation, retailer partnerships and expanded distribution into key markets, including the Pacific Northwest and California.”

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