Lagunitas “delivered high single digit volume growth ahead of the craft market,” parent co Heineken shared on conference call following release of global 1st half results. Recall, founder Tony Magee recently referred to 11-12% shipments growth; likely depletions slightly slower or else timeframe differed. Heineken CFO Laurence Debroux praised Lagunitas performance as “quite an exception at this moment,” with craft slowing. By “removing complexities” of JV structure, Heineken believes it can “accelerate” the growth of Lagunitas internationally, and timing “right” for that, she reiterated.
Going forward, Lagunitas “will contribute to the growth” of Heineken globally, tho “it’s about quality” more than quantity, Laurence told Bloomberg in separate interview. Heineken only had 2 mos of consolidation in 1st half after acquiring rest of Lagunitas in May, and will “only consolidate it really in the second half,” she explained. So Heineken will now “be able to really go after international growth for Lagunitas.” Heineken is “learning more and more about this craft US market” and fully expects to bring learnings to “other countries in the world,” she added. “Definitely Lagunitas can go to more countries and definitely we can continue to develop the IPA segment, based on Lagunitas but not only.” Co also has craft brands in UK and the Netherlands, she reminded.
Heineken’s Future Craft “Intent”: “Regional Presence Across the World,” Sez Short’s Scott Newman-Bale Following Short’s deal to sell 19.99% stake to Lagunitas, founder Joe Short and managing partner Scott Newman-Bale reiterated that deal “set up so that it’s neither party’s intent to change the stake,” in an interview with Detroit Free Press (see Jul 26 issue). (Editor’s note: paper made a point to headline that Short’s sold to “Heineken” rather than Lagunitas thruout its coverage of deal.) “If certain things go wrong, then they could theoretically go up and down. But it’s designed quite restrictively as a long-term minority stake,” Scott added. “I think we’ve learned to never say anything about what is and is not possible, based on the previous statement. But it’s definitely not the intent.” Difference is “when Heineken wanted to get into the craft market, they looked for a partner to kind of guide that entire future, which was Lagunitas.” So “now [that] they have that partner, the minority-majority is less important to the big scheme of things,” Scott thought. Rather, Heineken’s “intent is more making sure that they have a regional presence across the world…and it doesn’t necessarily bode to having large stakes in small amounts of breweries. It kind of bodes to having smaller stakes in more breweries.” That’s Scott’s “guess at their intent – although we don’t talk to them about that,” he added.