Deal Watch: Local brothers brew a big merger

{safe_alt_text}Sometimes on the Deal Watch news desk we have to go with our hearts, not our heads, and spotlight a deal that isn’t the billion dollar tryst between a widget wonk and some equity investment raider.


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Sometimes on the Deal Watch news desk we have to go with our hearts, not our heads, and spotlight a deal that isn’t the billion dollar tryst between a widget wonk and some equity investment raider. Sometimes we must cut to the chase and focus on what’s really important.


Not just any beer, but homegrown beer. By local beer heroes. Which would bring us to the Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.’s merger with Redhook Ale of Woodinville, Wash. Let’s get the technical details out of the way quickly: The deal is an all-stock transaction that creates a new public company called Craft Brewers Alliance, to be  equally owned by Widmer and Redhook shareholders; Portland remains the HQ; there will be about 350 employees in the Widmer/Redhook barn. Kurt will be chair of the new company and brother Rob will be VP for corporate quality.

So the brothers who founded their brewery in 1984 and became pioneers in the craft-brew industry now want to rule the beer world?

“No, Rob and I are passionate about beer,” says Kurt. “Our job is to make great beer. But getting larger provides more stability, and it’s fun. When you are growing a company it’s exciting.”

Enough about you, what about the beer? “Our goal is to be over a million barrels total in five years,” he says.

No tampering with the Hefeweizen, right? Because really, it’s not just a drink, that baby’s a meal. With that golden fogginess … oh, sorry.

The Widmer/Redhook folks have had a brewing and licensing partnership for years in the eastern United States, a joint sales and marketing operation and signaled earlier this year that they might merge.

“The merger allows us to combine volumes and sales to justify more salespeople in more markets,” Kurt says, “particularly east of the Rockies.”

The merger is expected to close in early 2008. Thirsts rose 50% on announcement of the deal.      


31-Oct4Q ‘07Campbell Opportunity Timber Fund /Campbell Group (Portland)timberland/ Temple-Inland (TX)$2.38b (cash+long-term notes)

1-Nov4Q ‘07Commercial Vehicle Group (OH)fabrication division/ Gage Industries ( Lake Oswego)$5.3m

5-Nov4Q ‘07Caterpillar (IL)forestry division/ Blount International (Portland)$77.3m

13-Nov1Q ‘08Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. (Portland)Redhook Ale Brewery (WA)stock combination

14-Nov4Q ‘07EDS (TX)Saber Holdings (Portland)/ Accel-KKR$420m (cash)

15-Nov4Q ‘07Iconix Brand Group Inc (NY)Starter brand/ Nike (Beaverton)$60m

23-Nov4Q ‘07International Forest Products Ltd (BC)3 sawmills / Pope & Talbot (Portland)$89m (assets+ inventory)

23-NovNDFrontier Financial Corp (WA)Bank of Salem (Salem)$60m

27-Nov4Q ‘07Aequitas Capital Management (Lake Oswego)Windswept Capital (WA)ND

28-Nov4Q ‘07Znomics (Portland)Pacific Syndicated Resources (BC)ND
31-OctSima Enterprisesoffice bldg (Newberg)/ Donna Holden$2.15m

5-NovSapa Profiles/Sapa Group (Portland)industrial facility (Portland)/ W&L Endeavors (Clackamas)$5.7m

5-NovG-Bossindustrial bldgs (Portland)/ Sneyd Properties$1.67m

8-NovKBS Real Estate Investment Trust (CA)ADP Plaza (Portland)/ Antares-ADP (CA)$33.1m

19-NovRichard Ross and Cissy Rossindustrial facility (Portland)/ 1800 NW Upshur$1.6m

29-NovBelmont CourtChelsey Lane Apartments (Gresham)/ RAS$4.13m

29-NovNW Centuryindustrial bldg (Hillsboro)/ North C’s Properties$4.6m
1-NovEvidence-Based Practice Center (Portland)/Mark Helfand, directorAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality$10m (research grant)

8-NovIovation (Portland)/ Greg Pierson, CEOIntel Capital (CA)$15m (Series A)

26-NovRose’s Restaurant and Bakery (Portland)/ Jeff Jetton, CEOAequitas Capital (Portland)$5.2m

27-NovAxial Vector Engine Corp. (Portland)/ Ahmed Khalifa, acting CEOEmirates International Capital Advisory (UAE)$2.5m (PIPE)

28-NovZnomics (Portland)/ Roger Cone, CSOND$4.88m

28-NovClinicient (Portland)/ Jim Plymale, CEOVillage Ventures (MA); Highway 12 Ventures (ID)$5m

List researched by Mark Druskoff

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