Easy to swallow for Labatt Breweries
By Canadian Packaging staffGeneral Bottling Labatt Breweries of Canada Mark Anthony Group of Companies Mike’s Hard Lemonade Okanagan Cider Palm Bay premixed drinks Stanley Park beers Turning Point Brewery
Labatt's to acquire Mike's Hard Lemonade, Okanagan Cider, Turning Point Breweries and Palm Bay.
Labatt Breweries of Canada to purchase Okanagan Cider and Mike’s Hard Lemonade from the Mark Anthony Group of Companies in a deal valued at US$350-million.
The deal, expected to close in the next few months, also covers Palm Bay premixed drinks as well as the BC-based Turning Point Brewery, producer of Stanley Park beers.
According to Labatt, The Mark Anthony Group will retrain full ownership of its U.S. operations while maintaining its important and distribution operations for Canadian wine, beer and spirits.
The deal will enable The Mark Anthony Group to focus on its wine and spirits businesses.
Mark Anthony Group founder and chief executive officer Anthony von Mandl will retain ownership of the company’s Okanagan Valley wineries, including Mission Hill, CedarCreek, Martin’s Lane and CheckMate.
Von Mandl created Mike’s Hard Lemonade in Vancouver in 1996, calling it the world’s first spirit cooler. In 1999, the drink was reformulated as a malt beverage for the U.S. market.
Prior to that, Von Mandl brought the Mexican beer Corona to Canada in the mid-1980s, later building Turning Point Brewery on Annacis Island, BC, a then $20-million brewery powered by windmill.
Labatt has indicated that it will not be altering its new products in any way, and will continue to use the same recipes as before, as it expands in the ready-to-drink (Palm Bay) and cider segments—two areas the company has identified as growing, but not where Labatt had previously concentrated its business.