Mark Anthony sells lucrative portfolio of beverages to concentrate on wine
Some of B.C.'s most iconic ciders, spirits and coolers have been sold to Labatt Breweries. On Wednesday, the Vancouver-based Mark Anthony Group announced that it had sold its brands, breweries and IP—Mike's Hard Lemonade, Okanagan Premium Ciders and Stanley Park Beers, to Labatt Breweries of Canada, a subsidiary of global beverage behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev. The transaction is estimated to be worth $350 million.
Mike's Hard alone had been rumoured earlier this year to fetch a price as high as $1 billion. Founded in 1972 as a wine import business, Mark Anthony's high-end wine business—which includes Mission Hill and Cedar Creek—had diverged from its more mass market beverages in recent years.
In a statement, the founder and CEO of Mark Anthony Group, Anthony von Mandl, said that the group had sold its lucrative beer and cider business in order to concentrate on wine and build its import and distribution business in Canada. The windfall from this transaction should help. "We're fortunate to be operating from a position of considerable financial strength and market leadership. Once this transaction is complete it will provide even greater financial capacity as we embark on a new era of significant investments and growth in our businesses in Canada, the United States and beyond," said von Mandl. Though the company doesn’t disclose sales numbers, estimates put sales for the liquor importer and distributor somewhere in excess of $500 million.