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CANADA: Brick Brewing considers sale

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Brick Brewing Co. has made itself available to purchase.

The Canadian brewer, which earlier this year unveiled a marketing campaign hailing its position as Ontario's largest Canadian-owned brewer, said earlier this week that it was reviewing "strategic alternatives available to the company to enhance shareholder value". Among the options being considered are a sale, a recapitalisation review or "some form of business combination", the brewer said.

While Brick emphasised that no timetable is in place for the completion of the review, the company noted that it has retained CIBC World Markets to assist in the process.

"Brick Brewing is at an exciting and important crossroad," said Jim Brickman, executive chairman and founder. "It is opportune at this time to evaluate each of the alternatives available to us to best capitalise on our future growth opportunities.

"To this end, the board of directors has determined it is appropriate to undertake a comprehensive review of all of our strategic and financial options to determine the best method to maximise shareholder value."

In Canada, the other major brewers have become foreign-owned in recent years, or have had their Canadian status diluted. Canada's largest brewer Molson merged with US rival Coors in 2005, while Belgium-based giant InBev owns the country's number two brewer Labatt Breweries. Last year, Japan's Sapporo snapped up Sleeman Breweries.

Earlier this year, InBev bought Canadian brewer Lakeport Brewing to tap into the country's popular economy beer segment.

In February, Brick president and CEO Doug Berchtold said: "Not only do we create Canadian jobs, support the local economy and pay taxes in Canada, our profits stay in Canada unlike foreign-owned breweries."


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