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Locher Brewery acquires majority shareholding in Chopfab Boxer

Appenzeller Brauerei Locher has acquired a majority stake in the struggling beer manufacturer Chopfab Boxer. However, the brand will remain an independent company.

Together with the Quöllfrisch brewery Locher and the partners, they had been working on restructuring the company for around two months, Chopfab founder and Managing Director Philipp Bucher was quoted as saying in a press release on Friday. They have now succeeded. An agreement has been reached with the shareholders, banks and business partners.

"We are delighted that together we can ensure the continued existence of Chopfab Boxer," said Aurèle Meyer, Managing Director of Locher Brewery, according to the press release. With the agreement, his company will take over the majority of shares.

Chopfab Boxer is now back on a solid footing, the statement continued. In order to get the company back on the road to success, various measures to exploit synergies are being developed together with Locher. The two production sites in Winterthur ZH and Yverdon-les-Bains VD are to be retained.

In financial difficulties

The craft beer brewery Chopfab was founded in 2012. It took over the Vaud-based brewery Boxer in 2017. According to its own figures, the company now has a market share of around three percent and employs around 80 people.

Unfortunately, the company's profitability was unable to keep pace with its marketing and sales success, the report continued. The coronavirus pandemic, rising energy and commodity prices and higher interest rates also contributed to the crisis. This has put Chopfab in "existentially threatening difficulties".

The company did not want to put a figure on the size of the debts after the crisis became known. The debts consisted of loans from shareholders and banks. Suppliers and state institutions were also creditors.

Catching up with Heineken together

According to Chopfab Boxer, they were explicitly looking for a Swiss solution. The Locher brewery, a family business, was their partner of choice.

With the restructuring that has now come about, Chopfab Boxer is joining forces with the number three brewery in Switzerland as the sixth-largest brewery. According to an estimate by the "Handelszeitung" newspaper, together the two could catch up with or even overtake Heineken - the second-largest provider in Switzerland with the Calanda and Eichhof brands.


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