Moa sells brewing business

Moa cans

Moa has sold its brewing business with the listed company’s future firmly fixed in hospitality.

In an announcement to the New Zealand Exchange, Moa announced it would sell Moa Brewing Company Limited to Mallbeca Limited, a company associated with current CEO Stephen Smith.

The brewing operations will be sold for $1.9 million on a debt and cash-free basis. The transaction is expected to complete at the end of February 2021.

In its 2020 financial statements, Moa Group – made of brewing and hospitality businesses – reported it broke even at an underlying EBITDA level compared with a loss of $2 million the previous year. Net earnings after tax, depreciation and amortisation were a loss of $4 million compared with a loss of $3 million in the prior year.

During the year, Moa paid $4.25 million in excise, which roughly equates to production volume of 2.8 million litres, based on 5% abv beer. The excise paid was down on the previous year ($4.3 million) reflecting the hit delivered by Covid-19.

Following several years of encouraging announcements from the company, Moa commenced a hospitality-focused vertical integration strategy buying Savor Group in April 2019, and then Non Solo Pizza in September of that year and Savor Group founders Lucien Law and Paul Robinson joined the Moa the Board.

Moa had seen encouraging growth through it’s move to cans in 2020, but in November, the company’s brewer of 13 years, David Nicholls, announced he was is leaving to start his own brewery in the wine-growing region of Blenheim.

Moa has been a flamboyant player in the New Zealand market, since launching in 2003. It was accused of missing the mark with its 2012 IPA which was then labelled misogynist and has aged badly with even shareholders complaining of the company’s marketing approach in 2016. The brewery partnered with Shane Warne to brew SKW 99 Not Out in 2013.

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