The Acquisition Trail
April 13, 2012 by Vail Miller Jr. Chief Executive Officer
We recently announced that Heidelberg Distributing Company has entered into a purchase agreement with Hill Distributing Co., a family-owned beer distributor in Columbus, Ohio. Heidelberg, also a family-owned distributor of beer, wine and spirits throughout the states of Ohio and Kentucky, looks forward to this exciting opportunity.
Some people have been wondering why Heidelberg buys other distributorships. Well, it's a matter of industry consolidation and being ready to grow our footprint in Ohio and Kentucky when companies become available for sale. Our competition keeps getting bigger; suppliers keep getting bigger; and retailers keep getting bigger. It's the world we live in! We are proud to have been named the 14th largest beer distributor in the country last year by Beverage World, a national trade magazine
We have known the Hill family for many years and have worked together on industry and legislative affairs in both Columbus and Washington D.C. When Hill decided to concentrate on beer in the late 1980s, they sold their wine inventory to our Columbus operation.
So it is only natural for Heidelberg to purchase the balance of Hill's beer portfolio, which includes a some of the products in Anheuser-Busch InBev's vast portfolio (Stella Artois, Beck's and Bass); Crown brands (Corona, Modelo and more); Labatt beers; Guinness; craft beers and imports; and several other brands. We welcome the brands into our Columbus beer division where we represent a wonderful variety of beers from here and around the world.
One of the reasons we are so excited for this opportunity is that we have had success with these brands for many years in other parts of the state. Heidelberg has been a distributor of InBev products for over 25 years; Crown products for at least 16 years; and we have handled most of the other beers as well somewhere in the state.
The Hill Distributing acquisition is evidence of Heidelberg's commitment to a wide range of products to offer retailers with an efficient delivery system. We have been expanding our wine divisions with acquisitions in recent years, and in an effort to expand our Anheuser-Busch footprint we purchased Eagle Beverage Company, located in Springfield, in 2009.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is Heidelberg's largest supplier partner, having now reached sales of over 10 million cases per year. We maintain separate management, sales, warehousing and delivery teams specific to that portfolio and adhere to the high level of Anheuser-Busch InBev standards in each area. Founded in 1938, Heidelberg has been a distributor of Anheuser-Busch products since 1959 and has made continuous investments into the building of these world-class brands.
Heidelberg's focus has always been on a well-rounded approach to selling. Our 1,400 employees are ambassadors for our company and the brands we represent. We work with supplier partners, retailer partners and other distributors with the highest integrity and respect of anyone in the alcohol beverage industry. Since our humble beginnings, Heidelberg's ownership and management teams have been leaders at the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio (WBWAO); Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA); and the National Beer Wholesalers of America (NBWA).
We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with supplier partners for many years to come and we are dedicated to the growth of these brands in the Columbus area. Our goal is to provide the very best in customer service to our retailers and earn the privilege of being their #1 choice.
Vail Miller Jr.
CEO, Heidelberg Distributing Company