Company actively seeking buyer for its Dartmouth facility
GUELPH, ON, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Sapporo International, the parent
company of Sleeman Breweries Ltd., announced today its intent to sell
its Dartmouth, N.S. brewing facility. As part of the strategy to meet
growing demand for Sleeman and Sapporo in Canada and the U.S. in the
short-term while also enhancing overall productivity across its North
American operations, Sapporo International will also shift 200,000
hectolitres (hL) of Sapporo products, bound for export to the U.S.,
from its Guelph, ON facility to a third party brewing partner in the
United States effective June 2013.
"Sapporo has been increasing its North American market share in a
category that is experiencing only modest growth. In order to
consolidate and maximize this momentum, we must make some immediate and
crucial changes to our North American brewing strategy to improve
productivity across our entire operation," says Shige Yokoi, President
and CEO, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
"The impetus behind our intent to sell the Dartmouth facility, which
produces less than two per cent of annual volume, is to establish the
long-term competitive resilience we need in an aggressive market by
taking advantage of the economies of scale our North American
operations offer," Yokoi adds.
To this end, Sleeman has already engaged some prospective buyers who
have indicated a desire to keep the facility as a brewery, including
keeping some or all of the 32 affected employees. However, should an
appropriate buyer not be identified by July 2013, the company will make
the difficult decision to close the facility.
"Please let me emphasize my appreciation for the hard work and
contributions our employees have put into Sleeman at every level," says
Yokoi. "I know this decision creates a lot of concern and anxiety among
our 32 Dartmouth staff in particular. By actively advancing a sale now,
we very much hope to secure the jobs and viability of this brewery. But
in the long-term interests of our North American operations, we felt we
needed to achieve some efficiencies of scale right away to stay
competitive against our much larger continental and global rivals."
Sleeman Breweries currently produces more than 1.8 million hL of volume
a year at facilities across Canada, including 27,000 hL at Dartmouth.
By shifting 200,000 hl of Sapporo (which has been exported to the U.S.
since 2002) from Guelph to the U.S., including the Sapporo kegs, the
Sapporo Premium 20.3oz bottle, 16oz bottle, 12oz bottle and 12oz can
and Sapporo Premium Light 12oz bottle, the company will be able to
deliver on consumer demand in a more productive manner by the end of Q2
2013. Guelph will continue to produce all Sapporo products for Canada
and the Premium 22oz can and the Sapporo Reserve 22oz can and 12oz
bottle for both the U.S. and Canadian markets.
"We have to act now in order to capitalize on our competitive momentum
and the efficiencies and production benefits our integrated North
American operations offer will help us advance this goal, including the
long-term productivity of our facilities in Chambly, Quebec, Guelph,
Ontario and Vernon, British Columbia," says Yokoi.
About Sleeman Breweries Limited
Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is the third largest brewing company nation-wide.
The company has supplemented its core Sleeman brands, which are
available in every province, with a family of exceptional regional
brands. These include Okanagan Spring in British Columbia and Unibroue
in Quebec. Sleeman entered the rapidly growing value price category in
1999 by acquiring the Stroh portfolio brands in Canada, including Old
Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon. In 2006, Sleeman Breweries Limited was
acquired by Sapporo Holdings Limited of Japan. The company markets
and/or distributes world class imported products such as Guinness, Sol,
Dos Equis and Tecate and is supported by 1,000 employees.
About Sapporo Holdings Limited
Sapporo Holdings Limited is a Japanese holding company with an
enterprise value of C$4.0 billion that is active in five business
segments and includes Sapporo International as its overseas business
segment. Its Alcohol segment is engaged in the manufacture and sale of
beer, RTD, sparkling liquor, wine, shochu, liquor and others. The
company manufactures alcohol products including Sapporo Draft Beer,
Yebisu Beer and Mugi & Hop. The company also distributes Yellow Tail
and Beringer in Japan. The Food & Beverage segment manufactures and
sells beverages, such as tea, mineral water, coffee, carbonated drinks,
fruit juice, health drinks, sports drinks and others as well as foods,
such as, soup, lemon seasoning and others. It distributes Ocean Spray
Cranberry in Japan. Its Restaurant segment is involved in the operation
of beer parlors and restaurants under the store name Ginza Lion. The
Real Estate segment is engaged in the operation and management of
complex facilities that contains offices, housing, restaurants, and
commercial and cultural facilities under the name Yebisu Garden Place,
in addition to commercial and amusement complex facilities.
SOURCE: SLEEMAN BREWERIES LTD.
For further information:
Stéphane Duval, Vice President, Marketing, Sleeman Breweries Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org / 514-702-1730