Cannabis MSO Green Thumb Seeks Merger with Sam Adams Brewer

The CEO of cannabis multistate operator Green Thumb Industries is pitching a merger between his company and Boston Beer Co., the manufacturer of the Samuel Adams family of brews. Green Thumb CEO Ben Kovler proposed the merger idea in a letter dated June 2 to Boston Beer chairman and founder Jim Koch, saying the move would benefit both companies. On June 4 Kovler shared the letter on the social media platform X, saying in his post that Green Thumb is a “better buyer” for the company compared to other proposals.

Boston Beer Co. has a market capitalization of about $3.6 billion, while Green Thumb is worth about $2.8 billion. Kovler wrote in his letter to Koch, who has 100% of the voting rights of the company’s Class B stock, that the two companies were a good fit, noting that the cannabis industry continues to grow as more states legalize weed. Alcohol consumption is declining, however, with young adults drinking less than previous generations.

“As we look at a future where this consumer trend continues to gain traction, I believe we have to be proactive versus reactive,” Kovler wrote in the letter.

Kovler published his letter on social media after the Wall Street Journal reported on June 4 that Japanese whisky maker Suntory Holdings was in early negotiations to buy Boston Beer, saying that a deal with Green Thumb Industries would be able to make a “superior and more valuable offer” for the brewing company. 

After the Wall Street Journal report, Boston Beer said that is “fully focused” on running the brewing operation as an independent company. Suntory also disputed the reports that it was at the bargaining table with the American brewer.

“There is no fact that we are in any negotiations with Boston Beer,” Suntory said in a statement, according to a report from the beverage industry trade publication The Drinks Business.

Proposed Merger Offers New Opportunities for Both Companies

In his letter to Koch, Kovler said that the proposed merger between Green Thumb and Boston Beer would allow both companies to launch new products, mentioning possibilities such as pre-rolls, beverages, edibles, vapes, concentrates and topicals. Stock market analyst Aaron Grey, CEO of Alliance Global Partners, said on Monday that the proposed merger would allow Boston Beer Co. to enter new markets as alcohol sales continue to decline.

“The merger could provide exposure [for Boston Beer] to one of the leading companies in the growing cannabis space,” said Grey, according to a report from Morningstar.

He added that a Green Thumb merger with Boston Beer would give the cannabis company a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, making its shares available to a wider base of shareholders. The firm’s stock is currently listed on the less popular Canadian Securities Exchange and can be acquired through over-the-counter transactions.

“This would likely help increase institutional ownership and custody issues that continue to plague the industry,” Grey said.

In his letter, Kovler drew parallels with the alcohol industry, referring to national weed policy as Prohibition 2.0. He concluded his letter to Koch by acknowledging his success with Boston Beer and teasing the potential for similar success as laws banning marijuana continue to fall by the wayside.

“We think the combination of SAM and Green Thumb is a powerhouse of brands designed to serve the future U.S. consumer,” Kovler said. “Your namesake brand, Samuel Adams, is not lost on us– it is clear you ushered in the craft beer and hard seltzer revolutions in our country. Now it’s time to do it all again and play a leading role in the decades following Prohibition 2.0 ensuring U.S. cannabis consumers can choose great American brands from great American companies. This combination is the next great American growth story.”

Although the letter Kovler posted to X was written on Green Thumb letterhead, the company declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal article, saying in a statement that the company’s “policy is not to comment on market rumors.” Boston Beer Co. also declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters, according to a report from the New York Post.

The post Cannabis MSO Green Thumb Seeks Merger with Sam Adams Brewer first appeared on High Times.


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