20 Apr 2017 | 03.28 pm
Spanish Brewer Acquires Slice Of O’Hara’s
Estrella Galicia owners buy 32% of Carlow craft brewery
20 Apr 2017 | 03.28 pm
Carlow Brewing Company has sold 32% of its shareholding to Hijos de Rivera, the Spanish family business that owns the Estrella Galicia beer brand. The amount raised from the equity investment was not disclosed. Hijos de Rivera is based in Galicia in northern Spain and has a 6% share of the Spanish beer market.
Established in Bagenalstown over 20 years ago, Carlow Brewing Company (also known as O’Hara’s Brewery) was founded by brothers Seamus O’Hara (pictured) and Eamon O’Hara. It has a strong domestic and export trade, selling the O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer brand, which includes stouts, wheat beers, ales and lagers. The company also launched its Falling Apples cider brand in 2015.
Earlier this year, Carlow Brewing Company announced that it had snapped up Craigies Cider, a Wicklow company founded in 2011.
Carlow Brewing Company has raised nearly €3m from BES/EIIS investors since it was founded. Accounts for the 12 months to March 2016 show that operating company Carlow Craft Brewery Limited booked a profit of around €500,000. The company had year-end net worth of €4.3m.
Seamus O’Hara and Victor Treacy – a Carlow angel investor – each owned 44% of the company’s equity before the latest buy-in. They will retain their controlling majority shareholding and leadership of the company following Hijos de Rivera’s investment.
Chief executive Seamus O’Hara commented: “The history and culture of the Hijos de Rivera group really appealed to me and the rest of the team in Bagenalstown. Although the brewery is over 100 years old, the company demonstrates a progressive attitude which is underpinned by family values and a rich heritage.
“I think we can learn a lot from them, but we can also bring an entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of the craft beer sector to the partnership. We have spent the last two years developing our connection with the brewery since they became our Spanish importer, and this gives me great confidence that they can make a significant contribution to the future success of Carlow Brewing Company.”
O’Hara added: “Our growth in recent years has given us the opportunity to offer a return to investors who have been a huge support to our business from the start. It has not been easy to get to this point. We have overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles along the way and some remain.”
Hijos de Rivera was established in 1906 the main focus of the company is the brewing and distribution of beer. The company distributes its portfolio throughout Spain and in countries worldwide, including Brasil, Australia, China, Russia, The Philippines and The USA.