Buffalo-based Labatt USA says no changes are on tap from the sale of its corporate parent, North American Breweries, to a Costa Rican brewer.
KPS Capital Partners has agreed to sell NAB to Cerveceria Costa Rica, a subsidiary of Costa Rica-based Florida Ice and Farm Co., for $388 million in cash. KPS said completion of the deal is expected in the fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.
The deal resonates in Buffalo, where Labatt USA has 45 to 50 employees at its Key Tower offices, and Rochester, where NAB is based. Labatt USA imports, markets and distributes Labatt products in the United States.
Rich Lozyniak, NAB’s chief executive officer, said CCR is not expected to make any changes in NAB’s headquarters, leadership or employment.
“I think it is a fantastic outcome,” Lozyniak said. “I couldn’t have thought of a better company to acquire us.”
NAB already has a relationship with CCR, having represented its Imperial brand in the United States for five years, he said.
“They’re buying us for our breweries, brands, distribution and employees,” Lozyniak said.
KPS, a New York City-based private equity firm, formed NAB in early 2009 when it acquired Labatt USA, the High Falls Brewing Co. in Rochester – maker of the Genesee and Dundee brands – and a license for Seagram’s Escapes and Smooth brands.
It bought Labatt USA, which has been headquartered downtown since 2007, from Anheuser-Busch InBev. Belgian beer-maker InBev was forced to sell Labatt USA when it acquired Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser, to prevent the conglomerate from having monopolies in certain markets, including Buffalo.
In 2010, NAB acquired Independent Brewers United, owner of the Magic Hat, Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s brand families of craft beer.
“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,” said Raquel Palmer, a KPS partner, in a statement. “We take immense pride in what NAB has accomplished.”
NAB has about 1,200 employees, about half of whom are in upstate New York, Lozyniak said. The workforce includes salespeople and brewery employees.
Labatt USA is known for local sponsorships such as an annual pond hockey tournament held in Buffalo.