Unibroue has accepted an offer from Sleeman Breweries. The move follows an announcement earlier this week that the micro-brewer's controlling shareholders were considering selling the company.

Sleeman, the third-largest brewing company in Canada, has approved a definitive agreement whereby Sleeman offers to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Unibroue in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately C$36.5m, including net debt to be assumed of $5.5m.

Unibroue's major shareholders, André Dion, Robert Charlebois and Serge Racine, who hold 71.48% of all outstanding Unibroue shares, have agreed to irrevocably tender all their shares to the offer.

In a statement, chairman and CEO at Sleeman John Sleeman said: "This exciting transaction is the next step in the continued growth of Sleeman. The acquisition of Unibroue and its premium brands will complement Sleeman's current portfolio, in addition to providing the required infrastructure to expand our presence in Quebec."

André Dion, the chairman, president and CEO of Unibroue added: "The purchase price per share offered in this transaction is fair to Unibroue shareholders while providing the marketing strengths of Sleeman to expand the distribution of Unibroue's unique craft brews in Quebec and elsewhere across Canada. Unibroue will become an important part of Sleeman's Quebec strategy going forward and I am pleased that this transaction will continue to provide Unibroue's employees with a growth-oriented environment focused on the expertise of its employees."

Sleeman's take-over bid circular is expected to be mailed in early-May 2004 and the transaction is expected to close in June.