Sleeman Breweries is planning an export drive after its takeover by Japan's Sapporo, according to the Canadian brewer's chairman and CEO.

John Sleeman, who will stay on as CEO if the deal is approved by shareholders, told just-drinks yesterday (14 August): "I am delighted with this agreement. It is good news. Sapporo is committed to keeping our people and facilities and growing the business.

"The Japanese have an international reputation for working with employees and getting efficiencies out of plants. They will help to get more beer out of the door."

Sleeman said he hoped that more of the company's beer could end up in foreign markets, notably in the US, the UK and Japan, via established Sapporo networks. Sleeman and its Québec subsidiary Unibroue already have an established US sales operation, but he praised Sapporo's presence there.

Sleeman said: "(Sapporo) has a great business model in the US. By putting these businesses together they can help us grow in the States".

However, Sleeman did not expect cross-fertilisation on marketing. "I don't envisage Sleeman being in every Japanese restaurant", he said, stressing Sapporo believed in "individual marketing".