An end of an era today as Canada's bar turned micro turned regional turned mini-national macro goes on the block:
Four brewers are expected to belly up to the bar today and pitch offers for Sleeman Breweries Ltd. as the auction of the $220-million beer maker enters its final stage. The two major domestic players, Molson Coors Brewing Co. and Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., are expected to make bids. So too are a pair of overseas brewers that distribute their suds through Sleeman, Royal Grolsch NV and Sapporo Breweries Ltd. All are expected to make formal bids by a Sleeman-imposed deadline of the end of today, according to industry and investment banking sources. Sleeman, which holds 7 per cent of the Canadian beer market, announced a "strategic review" in May that could include the sale of the Guelph, Ont.-based company. Sources say the brewer hopes to announce a buyer by October.Sleeman did not keep up. It lost out in part to buck a beer discount brews but it also lost out by charging premium prices for beer that more and more was not. Still, it will be sad to see their portfolio - which includes Unibroue (of the unfinished website upgrade) - end up in the wrong hands.