B.C.-born Mike’s Hard Lemonade on sale for $1 billion: report

B.C.’s billion-dollar lemonade and the impact of a city land deal gone bad

When life gives you lemons…
Mike’s Hard Lemonade, the vodka-based mixer with B.C. roots, is up for sale according to Reuters. Owned by Mark Anthony Group, the Vancouver-based beverage-maker that also owns Mission Hill winery, Mike’s Hard is on the market for a rumoured $1 billion. Launched in 1999 by winery owner Anthony Von Mandl as an alternative to cocktails and beer, Mike’s Hard is now based in Chicago but remains a significant source of revenue for its Vancouver parent company. (via Reuters)

Trading spaces
A B.C. Supreme Court decision that nixed a set of proposed Yaletown condo towers has led the city to put negotiations on up to 15 downtown developments on hold, according to The Vancouver Sun. The projects, which all involve swapping bonus density for social housing, are on pause until city council finds a way to implement the recommendations in the decision. That decision, in which the court sided with a Yaletown community association over its claim that the city had not properly consulted residents, could lead some developers to walk away from community amenities, according to Vancouver’s chief planner, Brian Jackson. (via The Vancouver Sun)

Ponzi scheme
For many of Arvindbhai Patel and Rashida Samji’s clients, it seemed like an impossibly good deal. In return for an investment in what they believed to be Mark Anthony Group’s growing international business, their clients expected to earn 12 per cent interest annually. But Patel, a former Coast Capital Savings Financial planner, and Samji, a former notary public, had poured the money into a $110-million Ponzi scheme, which is now before a provincial court. Last month, Samji was fined $33 million by the B.C. Securities Commission for the scheme. She faces 28 criminal charges of fraud and theft.