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Cerveceria Costa Rica to buy Genesee Brewing parent for $388 million

Rochester Business Journal
October 26, 2012

North American Breweries Holdings LLC, parent of Rochester’s Genesee Brewing Co., will be sold to Cerveceria Costa Rica S.A. for $388 million, with its local management team to stay on board, officials announced Friday.

“We are all staying with the company,” CEO Richard Lozyniak said following the announcement. “They want us all to stay. Looking at it from a Rochester community perspective, I could not have asked for a better outcome.”

NAB owner KPS Capital Partners L.P. has signed a definitive agreement to sell the beverage company by the end of the year. NAB is the U.S. importer of Cerveceria’s Imperial beer.

“In forming NAB, KPS did not buy or invest in a company,” said Raquel Palmer, a partner with the New York City private-equity firm, in a statement. “Rather, we created a new company that became one of the largest and fastest-growing independent beer companies in the U.S.

“NAB is a complete validation of the KPS investment strategy of seeing value where others do not, buying right, making businesses better and creating value for our investors. We take immense pride in what NAB has accomplished.”

Employment at the Genesee brewery has more than doubled since KPS acquired the former High Falls Brewing Co. in February 2009, to more than 700 from 330 three years ago. Beverage production also has doubled, the company has said.
 
KPS also bought Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd.’s Buffalo-based U.S. operations and the perpetual license from Pernod Ricard USA LLC to make Seagram Co. Ltd.'s wine coolers and malt beverages.

In addition to its Genesee beers, the Rochester facility makes the Original Honey Brown Lager and Dundee Ales and Lagers craft beers.

The company’s Seagram’s Escapes wine coolers have become the fastest growing segment of the business, executives have said.

NAB acquired Independent Brewers United Inc. of South Burlington, Vt., in August 2010. IBU is the holding company for craft beer makers Magic Hat Brewing Co. in Vermont, Pyramid Brewing Co. in Seattle and MacTarnahan's Brewing Co. in Portland, Ore.
 
KPS has spent $30 million to upgrade the Rochester brewery, including $10 million this year, Lozyniak told the Rochester Business Journal in July.
 
In addition, KPS funded a $3.9 million brew house and museum that opened last month on the brewery grounds.

“We congratulate and thank the NAB management team for their extraordinary tactical execution of our vision, which resulted in the company’s significant revenue growth year after year, and the eventual acquisition by a leading international strategic buyer,” Palmer said.

Florida Ice and Farm Co. S.A. is the holding company for Cerveceria.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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