12/10/2017 - 13:22

Coke buys local brewery

12/10/2017 - 13:22

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Swan Valley-based Feral Brewing Company has been sold to the business that bottles and distributes Coca-Cola in the Asia-Pacific region for an undisclosed sum.

Coke buys local brewery
Brendan Varis says the sale will allow Feral to expand its innovation program and have access to a wider distribution network. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Swan Valley-based Feral Brewing Company has been sold to the business that bottles and distributes Coca-Cola in the Asia-Pacific region for an undisclosed sum.

In a Facebook post this morning, head brewer Brendan Varis said that after opening the brewery’s doors 15 years ago (almost to the day), the time had come to make a tough decision in the best interests of the company’s future.

The amount that Coca-Cola Amatil paid for the acquisition was not disclosed.

The Feral sale follows the same path as that of Matilda Bay Brewing Company, which was sold to Carlton & United Breweries in the early 1990s, and more recently Little Creatures, which was bought by national beverages giant Lion (a subsidiary of Kirin) in 2012.

“A growing business is a hungry one. We have a lot of future plans for the business which, if Feral needed to rely on my personal balance sheet to fund, would take years to execute,” Mr Varis said in the lengthy post.

“The great people that had joined our team would be able to continue what they love to do and have their futures preserved.

“The beer business at Amatil is still relatively young. Due to that, their focus is very much about building brands, which is exactly what Feral needs currently.

“After lots of conversations I became comfortable that they understood exactly what they would be buying when it came to the Feral business.”

Mr Varis said he had many future plans for Feral which would have taken years to bring to fruition if the business had to have relied on his personal funds.

“The initial conversations were around taking on an equity partner to clean up some debt within the business to allow us to commence on a few new initiatives,” he said.

“As discussions progressed it became clear that a full sale would deliver the best outcome for all.”

Mr Varis, who has chosen to stay with the business post-acquisition, said with a bigger team behind Feral the brewery would be able to expand its innovation program and have access to a wider distribution network, that would put Feral beers in front of thousands more craft beer consumers.

“This has been an amazing 15-year journey for us but I feel I have taken the business as far as I can on my own,” he said.

“Having the support of Amatil will allow us to fulfil some of our future goals and ambitions of Feral far sooner than we could have otherwise contemplated.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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