Ontario-based -Sleeman Breweries Ltd, Canada’s largest independent brewer is for sale; and according to industry analysts, both Molson Coors and InBev are interested.
Sleeman, a family-controlled company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, sells about 7 percent of the beer in Canada through nine Sleeman brands, plus the ownership, licensing and distribution of other beers such as Stroh’s Canada.
A Sleeman sale would continue the changes in the Canadian beer market.. If Molson Coors would to absorb the brewery, it would control half of Canada’s beer market.
InBev, owner of Labatt’s and the Canadian distributor of Budweiser currently has about 42 percent of the market share, putting them near 50 percent if they were to purchase Sleeman.
The Sleeman family started its brewery in the mid-1800s, according to a company history, but shut it down in 1933. It was resurrected in 1988.
One of Sleeman’s selling points is its clear-glass bottles. The Molson and Labatt brands are sold in brown bottles per an industry agreement, and if either company bought Sleeman, it likely would have to switch packaging.