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Scottish craft beer firm sells 22% stake to US private equity firm TSG to fund global expansion, hotel launch

The Brewdog Plc brewery and headquarters stand near Aberdeen, U.K.
Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images Restrictions
The Brewdog Plc brewery and headquarters stand near Aberdeen, U.K.

Independent Scottish craft beer brewer BrewDog has sold a 22.3 percent stake to U.S. private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners to fund its global expansion plans, including the launch of a series of brewery hotels.

The $264 million investment takes the 10-year-old company's value to $1 billion, and pre-empts intentions to take the firm public, co-founder James Watt told CNBC.

Just under half of the funds - $124 million – will be channelled into new breweries, which are mapped out for the U.S., Asia and Australia, and two brewery hotels, boasting craft beer taps in each bedroom and beer-infused dining.

As well as expanding the business into new markets, the remaining $140 million funding from San Francisco-based TSG will be used to buy shares from existing investors, including Watts and fellow co-founder Martin Dickie.

Since launching its first funding round in 2010, shares have soared 2,765 percent. In the past year, shares have jumped 177 percent, however, Watt remains optimistic that shareholders will want to remain part of the Aberdeenshire business's growth strategy.

"Most investors I've spoken to are not looking to sell, but they are happy to have the option to realise those gains," Watt told CNBC over the phone Monday, two days after the sale was announced to shareholders. The deal had gained 95 percent approval from shareholders.

James Watt, chief executive officer of Brewdog Plc, poses for a photograph at the company's bar in Shoreditch, London, U.K.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
James Watt, chief executive officer of Brewdog Plc, poses for a photograph at the company's bar in Shoreditch, London, U.K.

The deal will help BrewDog enact its five-year strategy, culminating in a public listing at the end of that time horizon, Watt suggested.

"We spoke to many potential partners and we found that TSG were completely aligned with our business plan," said Watt.

"They have good experience of taking companies public and they only invest in consumer-focused companies, which really appealed to us."

BrewDog's first international brewery is scheduled to open shortly in Columbus, Ohio, responding to growing U.S. demand for craft beer. This will also provide the premises for its flagship beer-themed hotel, which is due open in early 2019.

A second beer hotel based at the firm's flagship Aberdeen brewery is scheduled for 2020.

The expansion will also see a number of new hires and the launch of new breweries in Asia and Australia, trimming production inefficiencies and environmental impact.

"Beer has been commoditised for too long and people all over the world are discovering the depth of flavour and character.

"We're keen to see more independent players come to the market so everyone can take some market share from the large players."

BrewDog hopes to secure 15 percent of the domestic U.K. market in the coming years.

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