Dutch brewing company Heineken has purchased a 50 percent stake in the California-based Lagunitas Brewing Company to capitalize on the growing American craft beer movement.

"We are very excited to partner with Lagunitas,” said Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Heineken. “We recognize and respect the tremendous success of Tony and his team in building one of the great U.S. craft beer brands. We look forward to that same team partnering with us to expand Lagunitas globally, so it can reach parts of the world that other craft beer brands have not."

Lagunitas, the fifth largest craft brewer in the US by volume, was founded in 1993 and has two breweries in Petaluma, CA and Chicago, IL. A third brewery is currently under construction in Azusa, CA. The company distributes within the US and has expanded internationally to include the UK, Canada, Sweden and Japan,

According to Heineken, Lagunitas has a strong growth record with 2012-2014 revenue CAGR at 58 percent.

In the United States, craft beer continues to outperform the overall beer market, and now represents 11 percent of total volume. Within the craft segment, India Pale Ale, or IPA, is the fastest growing category. IPAs are a strength for the California brewer and its namesake IPA has become a benchmark for the category, Heineken said. Other leading brands include A Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Daytime, Pils, Sucks, Hop Stoopid and Maximus.

"This venture will create a way for Lagunitas to let Heineken participate in the growing craft beer category across its global distribution network in places from Tierra Del Fuego and Mongolia to the far-flung Isle of Langerhans,” said Tony Magee, founder and executive chairman of Lagunitas. “Lagunitas will share in the best quality processes in the world and enjoy access to opportunities that took lifetimes to build. This alliance with the world's most international brewer represents a profound victory for US craft. It will open doors that had previously been shut and bring the US craft beer vibe to communities all over the world."

 The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the 4th quarter of 2015. Financial terms are not disclosed.