Reyes Beverage Group acquires craft-focused Windy City Distribution in mega deal

windy city reyes distribution deal logos

(Chicago, IL) – In the second craft-centric distributor consolidation to be reported this week, sources told BeerPulse on Friday that Reyes Beverage Group has formalized an agreement with Windy City Distribution to purchase the Chicago-based wholesaler. According to trade publication, Beer Marketers’ Insights, the deal is for more than $50 million (via @brewboundfurn).

That amount would place Windy City at a valuation comparable to Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Company which was sold for $39 million to A-B InBev last year.

Sources told BeerPulse that an announcement is expected to be made formally next week and that those with knowledge had signed non-disclosure agreements. Company representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

According to filings with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, a new entity called Windy City Distributing, LLC, was formed on December 6th.

In Beverage World Magazine’s list of top 20 beer distributors (in terms of case volume) from 2011, Reyes Beverage Group ranks first with 93 million cases shipped and $1.9 billion in dollar sales. Reyes’ oldest business, per its corporate website, is nearby Chicago Beverage Systems.

“Chicago Beverage Systems proudly sells and distributes the largest portfolio of imported, craft beer and domestic brands in Chicago, delivering 8 million cases of beer each year to more than 2,200 retailers across the Chicago metro area.”

Chicago Beverage Systems distributes beers from MillerCoors, Heineken USA, The Boston Beer Company, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium among others.

Windy City Distribution, meanwhile, has arguably the most robust portfolio in the area in terms of regional craft breweries which includes Stone, Lagunitas, Victory and the recently-signed Oskar Blues.

The company is run by the Ebel brothers who also founded Chicago-based Two Brothers Brewing back in 1997. Windy City was founded two years later. Ebel talks about the business in this 2010 piece on Chicago’s pay-to-play market.

For Reyes, it is the second M&A deal in a matter of weeks. On November 30th, the company formally announced that it had acquired Chesbay Distributing Company.

And earlier in the week, J.J. Taylor of Minnesota announced that it had acquired Chisago Lake Distributing in another craft-focused distributor consolidation.

Coincidentally, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story on Friday regarding yet another recent M&A deal in the middle tier, noting that the distributor consolidation deal count for 2012 has hit 33.

And now 34.

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  1. Pingback: Chicago Beverage Systems Parent Company Is Buying Windy City Distribution

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