The Seattle-based investment bank wants to get in on more deals with distillers, wineries and craft brewers so it's merging with First Beverage Financial, a specialist in the industry.
Cascadia Capital, a Seattle-based boutique investment bank, hopes to finance and advise more brewers, distillers and winemakers after merging with First Beverage Financial.
It’s the first merger or acquisition for 19-year-old Cascadia, which provides capital and merger-and-acquisition services to mid-sized and family-owned businesses in industries including food, agriculture, real estate, technology, energy and retail. Terms of the merger, completed Monday, were not disclosed.
Cascadia co-founder and chairman Michael Butler said the alcoholic beverages business is ripe for growth, evidenced by the proliferation of wineries, local distillers and craft brewers – an area of particular focus for First Beverage in recent years.
Cascadia already does lots of work with food companies, retailers and agricultural businesses, including hop growers in the Yakima Valley. Demand from craft breweries for specialty hops is driving growth for one of Washington state’s signature crops. “They look like a tech company,” Butler said.
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Los Angeles-based First Beverage Group, founded by Bill Anderson, operates an investment fund and an investment banking practice, First Beverage Financial, providing capital and transaction advisory services to breweries, wineries and distillers. The bank has done more than 25 beverage deals in the last four years, most within the craft beer industry, Anderson said in a statement.
Cascadia is adding the investment banking business, which will become part of its Los Angeles office, Butler said. Anderson will continue operating the beverage-focused investment fund. He will also join Cascadia’s board of directors.
With the acquisition, Cascadia will pursue business “much more aggressively in the alcoholic beverage sector,” Butler said, adding a specialty element to its consumer and retail practice, which will now have around 14 bankers. “It’s a testament to the growth we see in the consumer sector,” Butler added.