CANADA: Molson Coors, Grolsch silent on Sleeman race
Reports in Canada have claimed the two brewers - plus Labatt Brewing Co. and Japan's Sapporo Breweries - were expected to table rival offers for Sleeman by yesterday's (31 July) deadline.
However, Molson Coors, Canada's largest brewer, refused to comment on the reports. "We have a policy of making no comment on mergers and transactions," a spokesman said.
Dutch brewer Grolsch was similarly reticent. A spokesman in at the brewer's HQ in Enschede said today: "They are just rumours and we will not comment." Sleeman distributes Grolsch's flagship brand in Canada, alongside other select brands from Boston Beer Co., Scottish & Newcastle and SABMiller.
Officials at InBev-owned Labatt and Sapporo could not be reached for comment.
Sleeman announced a "strategic review" of its business in May after InBev CEO Carlos Brito revealed that Canada's third-largest brewer was looking to sell up. Sleeman denied Brito's claims but said it would look at its options after seeing profits hit by the popularity of discount and import beers in Canada.
When contacted by just-drinks last night, an official at Sleeman said the company's chairman and CEO, John Sleeman, was unavailable for comment.
Analysts said that the acquisition of Sleeman would benefit Molson Coors, which is battling it out with Labatt for the number one spot in Canada.
"We believe a transaction would be readily digestable to Molson Coors in financial terms and see strategic merit to a combination since Molson is a market leader seeking to expand and upgrade its portfolio of brands," Stifel Nicolaus beverage analyst Mark Swartzberg wrote in a note to clients yesterday.
"That said, change of control provisions might, in time, cause some Sleeman partners to shift distribution from Sleeman to another market participant if Molson Coors buys the company."
Swartzberg said that at the close of trading yesterday, Sleeman had a market value of C$225m (US$198.8m) and debt of C$104m. He added that any sale "must be at or above 10x trailing EBITDA". Sleeman had EBITDA of C$32m in the 12 months ended December 2005 and C$37m in the 12 months ended December 2004.
Sectors: Beer & cider
InBev has reportedly begun building a brewery in China's eastern Zhejiang prvince....
Inbev has been given the green light to try to buy the remaining shares in Quinsa that it does not already own....
The state of Pennsylvania has pledged investment to help reopen the former Rolling Rock brewery in Latrobe....
Coors Brewers is planning to launch three "speciality" beers into the UK on-trade....
Belgian brewer Alken-Maes has begun talks with employees over its plans to close its brewery in the town of Jumet....
Pubs in France have stopped selling Guinness in protest at the high selling prices of the iconic stout across the Channel and the lack of support from its distributor....
Sapporo Beverage Co. is considering dissolving its contract to sell drinks made by food and drinks maker Fujiya Co., according to local reports....
Dutch brewer Grolsch will launch a new, distinctive green bottle during the first quarter of the year....
- Diageo NA head on Trump, Millennials, Bourbon
- Has Millennial-mania drowned out elder consumers?
- Interview - Loch Lomond GTR head Andre de Almeida
- Absolut and Smirnoff's conflicting Millennial view
- Trump, local spirits and the IR role - The Analyst
- Beam Suntory opens global headquarters in Chicago
- Diageo wine assets integration head to leave TWE
- Absolut not "sufficiently focussed" on Millennials
- Pernod Ricard targets at-home drinking
- Molson Coors names UK & Ireland managing director
- Luxury Alcoholic Drinks: The Spirit of Premiumisation
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Wine Market 2016-2020
- Global Cognac insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends