Bell’s to Sell?

Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewing Company has indicated he may revert to selling his company depending on the outcome of ongoing negotiations with several minority shareholders.

In the midst of a $52 million expansion project that includes a new 200-barrel brewhouse the project is on hold as the company tries to save money in an attempt to buy out 11 of the 14 shareholders.

Bell and his two children own a majority of the company’s shares. He said his goal is to pass Bell’s Brewery Inc. on to the next generation, but he hasn’t ruled out selling their shares if a resolution cannot be reached.

Other shareholders have not indicated what they may do.

Bell said he has “never had any serious discussions” with a buyers in the past, but some private equity companies and large breweries have expressed interest in buying Bell’s, which produced more than 180,500 barrels last year and are projecting to make more than 230,000 this year.

Bell said there was a shareholders meeting in March, but no resolution was made. He said he plans to continue conversations with shareholders, including a meeting with one next month.