San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, the local region’s second-largest craft beer maker, is set to be acquired by Constellation Brands for approximately $1 billion, the companies announced Nov. 16.
Headquartered in Victor, N.Y., Constellation is the nation’s third-largest beer maker and distributor, with brands including Corona, Modelo and Pacifico. It also sells premium wines under brands including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois and Kim Crawford, along with premium spirits such as Svedka Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.
Ballast Point, established in 1996 and currently based in Miramar, had recently filed for an initial public offering of stock expected to raise up to $172.5 million but now apparently called off. It is the nation’s 31st-largest craft beer based on 2014 production volume and is on track to register approximately $115 million in net sales on nearly 4 million cases for calendar year 2015.
Officials said Ballast Point will continue to operate as a stand-alone company, with its existing management team and employees running daily operations.
“We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way,” said Ballast Point founder Jack White, who stepped aside as CEO earlier this year. “To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner.”
White said the executive team at Constellation “shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale.”
Constellation CEO Rob Sands called Ballast Point “one of the most respected craft brewers in the country.”
Ballast Point employs more than 500 at four San Diego area facilities, with its products sold in more than 30 states. Constellation officials said the acquisition will be financed with cash and debt and is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions.