Constellation Brands has acquired fast-growing Florida-based craft beer producer Funky Buddha and, in the process, formed a new “High End Craft and Specialty” business group specifically tasked with overseeing the company’s present and future craft brewery purchases.
Financial terms of the deal, which closed yesterday, were not disclosed. The structure is similar to Constellation’s 2015 all-cash purchase of San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing, which was worth $1 billion, Brewbound understands. A sale price was not disclosed, but the deal is for 100 percent of the company, according to KC Sentz, who co-founded the brewery with his brother Ryan Sentz.
“We felt Constellation was definitely the right company to take the torch and run with it, and build Funky Buddha into the brand both of us always hoped it could be on a scale that we felt that we couldn’t get it to,” he told Brewbound. “To me, there’s no better company in the alcohol space that builds brands like they do.”
And now that Constellation Brands owns craft breweries on both U.S. coasts, the company – which also owns a variety of wine and spirits labels — has opted to split its beer division into two separate units.
Craig Farlie, a managing director with Farlie Turner & Co., who advised Funky Buddha on its sale to Constellation, echoed Hetterich and said the Fort Lauderdale-area craft brewery wasn’t “shopping” for a buyer.
“Their phone has rung a bunch over the last 24 months,” he said. “They are fast-growing and have quality liquid. Funky Buddha is located in the third largest state in the country – one that is incredibly under-indexed in craft beer — so this provides Constellation great access to this market.”
Farlie added that by acquiring a craft brewery in Florida, which is a popular vacation destination, Constellation would have a better chance of delivering a brand that resonates with customers along the eastern seaboard, should the company look to expand distribution of Funky Buddha beers.
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