Konvoy snaps up NZ's Red Kegs

Konvoy stepped up its presence in the New Zealand keg rental market today by acquiring Red Kegs.

Andrew Sharpe, founder of Red Kegs, said it was a logical move to consolidate the market after Konvoy launched in New Zealand in March, adding a third competitor alongside with Red Kegs and market leader Kegstar.

“From our perspective it was the logical thing to do,” Sharpe said. “Having three keg-leasing providers meant the market in New Zealand was saturated. Consolidation ensures New Zealand brewers have the best access to a reliable and stable keg leasing model.”

The Red Keg sale was made to Konvoy New Zealand Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Konvoy Holdings Pty Limited.

The new company will have around 60 customers in New Zealand and almost 200 on both sides of the Tasman.

Adam Trippe-Smith, managing director of Konvoy, described the new business as a partnership and noted the Red Keg business would continue to be led by Sharpe and his wife Amanda.

Sharpe said all Red Kegs staff would retain their jobs and emphasised the fact the new company would be New Zealand-based. “There will still be Kiwis on the ground looking after Kiwis,” he said.

Trippe-Smith also reiterated the trans-Tasman nature of the business.

“We genuinely are an Australasian business. Our tech team are all sitting in Auckland and three shareholders are New Zealand-based.

“We like to think we’re just as much Kiwi as we are Aussie. That was signified when Parrotdog guys jumped in with us when we launched in New Zealand. We’re here to stay.”

He noted that Konvoy’s just-released hi-tech tracking beacon was developed in Auckland. It has the ability to live-track kegs and monitor temperature. Trippe-Smith said the first Konvoy kegs were fitted with the beacon today in Melbourne.

“By November we should have all the kegs here fitted – that’s three months later than planned because of COVID-19. We plan to have all the New Zealand kegs, including the Red Kegs ones, fitted by June next year.”

Trippe-Smith said the beacons would provide valuable information for brewers.

“The producer always knows where beer is, and the brewers get an alert if the keg gets too hot or too cold,” he explained.

Meanwhile, following completion of Konvoy’s AU$8 million capital raise, Stuart Robertson, head of private investments at Ellerston Capital, has been appointed to the Konvoy board.

“Stuart brings a broad suite of capabilities in private equity and investment banking to augment the existing board’s capabilities,” Trippe-Smith said.

“As a result of continued customer wins in Australia through July and August, combined with the Red Kegs partnership in New Zealand, Konvoy now has close to 200 customers across Australia and New Zealand.”

Hear more about Konvoy and founder Adam Trippe-Smith on the Beer is a Conversation podcast.

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