Heineken takes stake in Lagunitas in one of the biggest craft-brewing deals – Los Angeles Times

European beer giant Heineken is acquiring a 50% stake in Lagunitas Brewing Co., helping the fast-growing California craft-brewing pioneer expand overseas.

The partnership better positions Amsterdam-based Heineken — the second-largest brewer in the world by revenue — to capture a piece of the booming U.S. craft beer market. Lagunitas is the fifth-largest craft brewer by volume in the U.S., and the second-largest in California.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but analysts said the deal could be one of the biggest ever in the craft-brewing industry. 

Petaluma-based Lagunitas was founded in 1993 by Tony Magee, who also serves as the company’s executive chairman and will continue to lead the company after the deal. Lagunitas will remain a separate entity, according to Heineken.

“We look forward to that same team partnering with us to expand Lagunitas globally, so it can reach parts of the world that other craft beer brands have not,” Jean-François van Boxmeer, chief executive of Heineken, said in a statement.

Magee said the focus of the partnership would be on international distribution.