Carlton United Breweries (CUB) has nabbed itself another craft brewery with the acquisition of Gold Coast-based Balter.
The acquisition for an undisclosed sum will see Balter join the CUB family alongside fellow formerly 'indie' beer labels like Goose Island, Wild Yak, Pirate Life and 4 Pines.
CUB is estimated to have almost a 50 per cent share of the Australian beer market. It is currently owned by Belgium-based Anheuser Busch InBev SA/NV, but it may soon change hands to Japan's Asahi pending ACCC approval.
Balter was founded on the Gold Coast in 2016 by a group of childhood friends, including professional surfers Mick Fanning (pictured centre) and Joel Parkinson.
Since then the brand has grown considerably and has been awarded the number one spot in the GABS Hottest 100 for the past two years straight.
Balter co-founder Ant Macdonald (pictured left) says the acquisition by CUB will allow Balter to enter is next stage of growth.
"We're proud to have grown the business to this point and we see the benefits this new partnership will bring as Balter enters its next growth phase," says Macdonald.
"This deal will help us achieve our sustainability goals, upgrade capacity and hospitality at our Gold Coast brewery and create new jobs."
Macdonald says despite joining a major brewing corporation, the Balter beer will remain as good as ever.
"We refused to compromise on our culture or our beer as part of this deal," says Macdonald.
"[CUB] have an amazing track record of allowing craft brands to thrive while keeping their identity and we're thrilled to join the CUB stable."
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic (pictured right) says the acquisition of Balter will allow the group's operations in Queensland to expand.
"We will help manage Balter's strong growth through our willingness to invest, our world-class beer expertise and our customer relationships," says Filipovic.
"And the terms of the deal mean the Balter team is not changing and management is staying on, which will ensure the business retains its identity and everything else that helped drive its success."
"The deal also means we're expanding our presence in Queensland, where we already have a significant economic footprint with our Yatala brewery employing more than 250 people."
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