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Lion to pay up to $25.1 million for "runaway train" Panhead

Lion to pay up to $25.1 million for "runaway train" Panhead

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Lion - Beer, Spirits & Wine (NZ), the local unit of Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings, will pay as much as $25.1 million for its newly acquired Panhead Custom Ales craft beer brand, which the local head has described as a "runaway train".

The Auckland-based brewer and winemaker paid $15.1 million in cash upfront for Brand Strong Ltd, the Panhead holding company, and will pay a further $10 million based on earnings over the next four years, accounts filed to the Companies Office show. The contingent consideration was discounted to a net present value of $7.8 million at the date of acquisition.

Lion agreed to buy Panhead in May last year from the family of founder Mike Neilson and New Zealand managing director Rory Glass this week said the brand had been a "runaway train" and the brewer had struggled to keep pace with demand. Lion bought Dunedin-based Emerson's Brewing Co for $8 million in 2012.

At the time of acquisition, Panhead had trade and receivables of $985,000 and $264,000 of inventory, with a further $2.1 million in property, plant and equipment and $5.6 million in intangible assets. Trade and other payables amounted to $1.5 million and the craft beer brewer had taken $100,000 of provisions.

Lion's net profit rose to $38.7 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from $34.7 million a year earlier. Sales rose 5 percent to $561 million. Total volume sold rose just 1 percent in the latest year.

Glass cited sales growth for its craft beers and the trend of "premiumisation", where consumers seek out better and more expensive beers, for the company's 12 percent gain in profit in 2016. However, the brewer's gross margins shrank to 36.9 percent in 2016 from 38.8 percent a year earlier.

(BusinessDesk)

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