Wine and spirits powerhouse Constellation Brands (STZ) agreed to buy craft beer company Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for about $1 billion, Constellation said Monday.
The San Diego, Calif.-based Ballast Point is expected to have approximately $115 million in revenue in 2015, and the valuation is said to be a multiple in the mid-to-high teens of the company's projected Ebitda for 2016, Constellation said.
Volume and net sales at Ballast Point have grown 80%, on average, from 2012 to 2014. The fast-growing business expects to sell nearly four million cases of beer this year, more than double last year's total. The deal for the craft brewer, which makes 40 styles of beer that includes Sculpin IPA and Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, expands Constellation's beer offerings.
In 2013, Constellation acquired perpetual brand licenses to Grupo Modelo's beer labels in the U.S. market as a well as a new brewery along the Texas and Mexico border. The transaction was part of an effort by Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) to obtain anti-trust approval to acquire Grupo Modelo's business outside of the U.S.
Ballast Point started in 1996 as a small group of home brewers, and it will operate as an independent subsidiary with its existing management team and workers. Today the brewer employs more than 500 employees and produces beer in four facilities in the San Diego area.
"We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way," said Jack White, founder of Ballast Point, in a statement. "To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale," White added.
In addition to owning the perpetual licenses for the Grupo Modelo brands in the U.S., Constellation sells wine under the brand names Robert Mondavi and Clos du Bois as well as vodka under the Svedka name.
The deal for Ballast Point continues a flurry of activity in the space, such as Dutch brewer Heineken's (HKHHF) purchase of a 50% stake in craft brewer Lagunitas Brewing for a reported $800 million in September.