Sapporo to buy U.S. craft beer maker Stone Brewing for $168m

Nikkein -- Jun 24
Japan's Sapporo Holdings on Friday announced that it will acquire U.S. craft beer maker Stone Brewing for $168 million, in a foray into the country's growing microbrew market.

Sapporo will acquire Stone Brewing's production and sales operations as well as its restaurant business. Its distribution business is not included in the deal. The acquisition agreement was signed Friday, with the deal slated for completion in August.

Stone Brewing was established in 1996 in California and is known for its "Stone IPA" products. It has breweries in California and Virginia and sells beer in more than 40 countries. According to the U.S. Brewers Association, Stone held the ninth biggest share in the U.S. craft beer market in 2021.

In addition to selling Stone Brewing products, Sapporo will use the company's breweries to produce "Sapporo Premium" beers.

Sapporo's overseas beer sales came to 18.99 million cases in 2021, up 4% from the previous year. Sales of Sapporo brand products jumped 23% to 5.69 million cases. Given rising shipping costs, expanding production capacity in North America has become imperative for the company.


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