Anheuser-Busch selling Shock Top, Breckinridge to cannabis company Tilray

Tilray and Anheuser-Busch reached an all-cash deal for the former to take ownership of eight popular brands. 

The cannabis company announced the deal on Monday, projecting its closure to happen before the end of the year. The brands that Tilray will get include Shock Top, Breckenridge Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Square Mile Cider Company and HiBall Energy, it said.

The acquisition is worth $85 million "subject to working capital and other adjustments," according to an SEC filing from Tilray. 

Tilray said it will climb four spots to become the fifth-largest U.S. craft beer business due to the volume of sales it expects the new brands will bring. Tilray’s U.S. Beer President Ty Gilmore forecasted in the release that the company’s beer segment would "triple in size" on an annual basis, hitting 12 million cases.

The company said adding the brands to its existing alcohol portfolio would bring in $250 million in pro forma revenue. 

In 2022, its beverage alcohol segment brought in $95 million in net revenue, representing 15% of its total $627.1 million and a 33% increase year-over-year. Tilray had a $1.4 million net loss for the year.

"Tilray Brands reached out to us early this year with interest in purchasing these brands and breweries, and since then, we’ve had many positive conversations that led to today’s announcement," Anheuser-Busch executive Andy Thomas said in a statement.

Anheuser-Busch is the company behind beers such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois. Its Bud Light brand has experienced a negative impact to its sales in recent months after the company created and sent custom beer cans to transgender influence Dylan Mulvaney to mark "365 days of girlhood." 

For the transaction announced Monday, Thomas said the company has committed to working with Tilray "to ensure this is a smooth transition for the people who are working every day to get these amazing beers and beverages to consumers in the U.S." In addition to the eight brands’ breweries and brewpubs, the employees for the eight brands will become Tilray’s post-deal, according to the release.

Tilray already owns several beer brands and a spirits brands, as well as a CBD sparkling non-alcoholic cocktail line. 

The company has been working to diversify its business, something CEO Irwin Simon described in a late July earnings call as a "purposeful, strategic adaptation to current market realities given the continued delays in U.S. federal cannabis legalization and more recently, delays in adult use legalization in Germany."