Sapporo Optimizing North American Production to Enable Growth in Canada
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
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.
Contact: Stéphane Duval, Vice President, Marketing, Sleeman Breweries
Ltd.firstname.lastname@example.org / 514-702-1730
SOURCE: SLEEMAN BREWERIES LTD.
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-0- Mar/06/2013 17:04 GMT
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