Tech investor Mike Walsh is hoping to save Anchor Brewing atop San Francisco’s Potrero Hill from impending bankruptcy.
Walsh, a Potrero Hill resident who has financed more than 200 companies, aims to lead investors into buying the 127-year-old brewery at 1705 Mariposa Street and 495 De Harrow Street. According to the San Francisco Business Times.
The troubled maker of Anchor Steam Beer, owned by Tokyo-based Sapporo Holdings, announced last week that it would close at the end of the month.
When taps run dry, Walsh rolls out “Anchor” A website where potential investors can look up information on saving suds. He also dialed the Narragansett beer in Rhode Island, It also sparked a petition to save Anchor.
“My idea was just to put together a group of investors so I could have a beer and the people keep their jobs and the company stays in Potrero Hills,” Walsh told The Business Times.
Sapporo’s board of directors voted to close the brewery and sell the business and property as part of a transfer of interest to creditors – a voluntary bankruptcy solution.
Sapporo Holdings acquired Anchor from Griffin Group in 2017 for $85 million. A spokesman said the company is currently in talks with a third-party transferee to liquidate its assets.
The four-story, 56,000-square-foot Art Deco brewery and nearby tasting room could be worth $75 million, based on property tax assessments.
Walsh said he had received “a lot of offers” to raise money to acquire Anchor Brewing and that he was ready to make a bid.
“I would say at least 500 people participated in different levels of investment — from crowdfunding levels of a thousand dollars, or even a hundred dollars, to bigger checks of a million or a million dollars,” he said.
The first step, he said, was access to the company’s “data room” through a non-disclosure agreement to analyze Anchor’s financials, real estate holdings, liabilities and assets to make an informed decision.
“I’m pretty sure we’re going to make some offers,” he said.
Another potential bidder is Kyle Withycombe, co-founder and former chief operating officer of health shot brand Vive Organic, now owned by Suja Life. He’s still flipping through Anchor’s data room.
Walsh, a Boston native and serial investor who moved to Potrero Hill 30 years ago, took early stakes in Salesforce and Uber before starting social media company Leverage, which he later sold. In 2013, he founded Structure Capital and invested in 50 companies in the first year.
— Dana Bartholomew