Tuatara Gains Cornerstone Shareholder

As many of you will have read in the media over the past 24 hours, we have sold a 35% stake in Tuatara Brewery to Wellington investment company Rangatira Limited. The transaction which was completed 2 days ago (Tues 18th June) will strengthen our balance sheet, provide funding to expand the capacity of our new brewery, and lift production to meet the ever growing public demand for our products.

The past year has seen its fair share of speculation about the future of our brewery's interests, especially in the wake of Emerson's 100% sale to Lion. A 2012 Dominion Post article covering our expansion into the new Paraparaumu premises suggested that a sale to Japanese owned Independent Liquor might be on the cards for us, which obviously fueled the rumors even more.

We're happy to finally be able to formally debunk that rumor, and also to be able to announce that we are not selling any shares to a major brewery - so our fans need not worry about the quality of our beer degrading under the watchful eye of big brother brewers and their corporate accountants. We will continue to use the finest quality ingredients in generous quantities in our brews, and our current head-brewers Rik Valentine and Carl Vasta will remain very much at the brewing helm.

Sean Murrie, our co-owner and General Manager had this to say regarding the investment, "Having an institutional investor as a cornerstone investor will enable us to expand to satisfy a growing demand for our craft beer." "Rangatira is a wholly New Zealand owned investment company that supports New Zealand businesses to enable them to reach their full potential – they’re an ideal partner for Tuatara. They will help provide the means for Tuatara to realise its vision to be New Zealand’s best craft beer company and make our beer more accessible to all New Zealanders, and to the growing number of Tuatara fans overseas."

We are now exporting to Australia, Singapore, China, the United States and Europe, and currently produce over a million litres of beer each year which puts us in the top three of New Zealand’s craft breweries. This rapid growth has been acknowledged by Deloitte in their annual Fast 50 Awards, naming us the fastest growing manufacturer in the lower North Island in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
But truth be told, we can't keep up with this pace - so investment for more equipment and resources is key right now. Our Paraparaumu brewery, which was opened late last year by the Prime Minister, currently has the capacity to produce at least two million litres a year - with further potential to double production to around four million litres with additional resources.

Both sides of our new relationship are equally excited about the future. Rangatira chief executive Ian Frame said, "Tuatara ticked all the boxes for Rangatira; they’re a growth company in a growth sector, they’ve built a strong brand and market position, have a good management team and, most importantly, a top quality product range." "We see our role in terms of helping sustain the company’s ongoing growth through providing the capital required together with some strategic and governance assistance." - Rangatira will appoint two directors to the Tuatara board.
"We see the potential for Tuatara to emulate the success of Heller's bacon, ham and smallgoods company. When we took a 50% stake in Heller's in 2003, it was well-known in the South Island and wanted to expand its presence nationwide. Since that time it has grown production threefold and developed its brand to become the market leader in its sector. Tuatara has the ingredients to become not only this country’s leading craft brewery, but to impose its presence internationally. So it’s cheers to that."

Sean, Carl, and the rest of the Tuatara team are obviously very enthusiastic about growing Tuatara Brewery even further with Rangatira on board. For us it makes so much sense to work with investors that share the same outlook for our company, and because of this a strong positive relationship has formed since we first began negotiations. Additionally many of the shares in Rangatira are held by charitable organisations - we're big fans of the idea that a piece of our future success and growth will be helping those in need.

Cheers to the future,
The Tuatara Team

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