Brewbound.com broke the news this morning that Cigar City Brewing in Tampa will sell controlling interest to a Boston-based private equity firm.
From the story:
Cigar City, a leading independent brewery based in Tampa, Fla., has agreed to sell controlling interest to Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners, which already owns majority stakes in Oskar Blues, Perrin Brewing and the Utah Brewers Cooperative outfit that includes the Wasatch and Squatters brands.
The story also reveals that rumors of a pending sale to beer conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev had more substance than previously believed:
According to Redner, Cigar City was in serious discussions with A-B InBev and had even signed a letter of intent with them in late 2015. In doing so, the smaller brewery had also agreed to an “exclusivity” clause that prohibited it from negotiating with other potential buyers, Redner told Brewbound. … But a potential deal fell through after A-B neglected to send a formal purchase agreement before the exclusivity period expired, Redner claims, enabling Cigar City to entertain other offers.
This news breaks two days after the brewery staged what was from all accounts a well-organized and successful Hunahpu’s Day and beer festival.
As this story developed through the day, other news sites added more context. Here are a few: