(Portland, OR) – Beer Business Daily reported at the end of August that The Meritage Group, a private equity firm of sorts, is in the process of acquiring one of the nation’s largest beer wholesalers, Portland-based Columbia Distributing.
BBD provides more color on the buyer, James Simons, a man that is worth $10.7 billion, according to Forbes and one of the wealthiest people in America. New School Beer, meanwhile, provides some context around the deal and how Columbia came to be.
According to Beverage Executive Magazine, Columbia ranks fourth in annual cases shipped in the U.S. behind Reyes Beverage Group, Silver Eagle Distributors and Ben E. Keith Beverages. The company, which has an estimated 2,600 employees, shipped 33.5 million cases in 2010 with revenue topping $550 million. It is the #1-ranked distributor on the West Coast.
Columbia has an impressive portfolio with large domestics and imports like MillerCoors, Pabst, Heineken and Corona. The company is also very active in the craft and specialty space with Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Deschutes, Lagunitas and Stone, among others. Earlier this summer, Hopworks joined the portfolio.