After months and months of rumblings, talk that North American Breweries “put up for sale” by owner KPS Capital Partners, hit Reuters wire this afternoon “according to sources familiar with this matter.” The co “could be worth $400 million” said Reuters. UBS is advising on sale. KPS and UBS declined to comment. Recall, NAB entered scene in early 09 buying Genesee and Labatt brands in quick succession. Many reports of Japanese execs around various NAB breweries earlier this yr and again more recently, with the name Sapporo frequently mentioned.
At NAB’s sales meeting in Jan ceo Rich Lozyniak had noted: “We’re doing very well,” “making a lot more money” and not doing it by cutting marketing, training, brewery expenses, etc. KPS is continuing to invest “and very, very happy” with its investment, assured Rich. “That being said, there will be an exit someday for KPS.” This is a “question people are starting to ask. Now people are getting a little nervous.” But Rich added: “If we focus on good things, we’re going to have a great outcome.” Whether it’s strategic buyer or even an IPO, a buyer will “want our brands, our relationships with you.” KPS is “not in a rush to get rid of us. If somebody calls and offers us $1 billion,” then KPS partner Raquel Palmer probably wouldn’t “be here next year” except in an advisory role. Still: “We’re one of the most stable companies in the industry,” concluded Rich, so that even if there were a deal someday, “it will be a good outcome for our people too.”