Daily bite: Sleeman makes takeover bid for Wild Rose Brewery

A shareholder vote on May 9 will determine the future of the Calgary-based brewery

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It looks like Canada’s third largest brewer is about to get bigger. In a recent press release, Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery announced that it has received a purchase offer from Japanese-owned brewing giant, Sleeman.  

The press release states that although Wild Rose wasn’t seeking acquisition, they believe the bid from Sleeman Breweries offers numerous benefits for both the brewery itself and the 82 employees who operate it.

The Alberta-based brewery has organized a shareholder meeting for May 9, during which a vote will take place to determine the company’s future. If Wild Rose's shareholders vote in favour of the purchase, an announcement will be made the ensuing day to divulge the relevant details.

Some have speculated that in addition to the successful brand Wild Rose has built, its 40,000-square-foot brewing facility may be a key reason for Sleeman’s interest. Wild Rose’s website states that it produced a whopping 17,339 hectoliters of beer last year, accounting for almost nine per cent of Canada’s total craft beer production.


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Wild Rose has been adamant that, if sold, the brewery will continue to use the same brewers and ingredients, and will continue to provide the same standard of Alberta craft beer that has always been synonymous with Wild Rose. It believes that the potential merger would be a great cultural fit between the two organizations.

Sleeman, who were acquired by Sapporo Breweries for $400 million in 2006, saw an exponential growth in the years following their merger. Wild Rose will hope to see similar results under the Sapporo umbrella if the shareholders vote to sell next Thursday. 

Update: Wild Rose Brewery shareholders have officially approved the sale to Sleeman Breweries. While the deal will be finalized on May 31, the two organizations will now begin to strategically leverage their strengths and complementary portfolios in an effort to accelerate their growth in Alberta.

“We know that this partnership will bring a wealth of opportunities for us to succeed together as we move forward with the support of Sleeman’s resources and industry insights,” says Bill McKenzie, CEO at Wild Rose Brewery. “We feel there is a strong connection between the way we’ve crafted our culture and the way Sleeman does business, and we are excited about our new joint vision for taking the growth of the Wild Rose brand to the next level.”