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PE-backed AB InBev to buy Mark Anthony’s beer and cider brands

Mark Anthony Group Inc has agreed to sell certain beer and cider brand rights and other assets to Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). The brands, all created by Vancouver-based Mark Anthony, include Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Palm Bay, Okanagan Premium Ciders and Stanley Park Beers. Mark Anthony did not disclose the deal’s financial terms; however, Reuters reports AB InBev agreed to pay US$350 million. Upon the close of the deal in the coming months, Mark Anthony said it plans to focus on its wine and spirits business. AB InBev has been a portfolio investment of U.S. and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital since 1989.

PRESS RELEASE

The Mark Anthony Group Announces Divestiture of the Company’s Ready-to-Drink, Cider and Craft Beer Brands in Canada

VANCOUVER, Nov. 10, 2015 /CNW/ – The Mark Anthony Group of Companies today announced an agreement to divest its Canadian Ready-to-Drink (RTD) and Cider brands along with its Turning Point Brewery facility and brands, which will be marketed and distributed through Labatt Breweries of Canada. In addition, Mark Anthony is selling certain non-U.S. and non-Canadian trademark rights and other intellectual property to Anheuser-Busch InBev. These market leading brands, all created by Mark Anthony, include Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Palm Bay, Okanagan Premium Ciders and Stanley Park Beers.

“I am extremely proud of our legacy in creating such amazing and enduring brands and our role in creating the flavoured cider and spirit cooler categories in Canada over the past +30 years.” said Mark Anthony Group Founder, Chairman & CEO Anthony von Mandl.

Upon completion of the transaction, the Company will focus on building Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits, a leading national fine wine, spirits and beer importer and distributor across Canada.

In the United States where Mark Anthony retains full ownership of its market leading RTD business and its sales are five times larger than in Canada, the Company sees exponential growth ahead with its portfolio of brands that includes Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

There is also no change in ownership in the von Mandl Family’s collection of iconic Okanagan Valley wineries under VMF Estates which now encompasses four prestigious wineries (Mission Hill Family Estate, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Martin’s Lane Winery and CheckMate Artisanal Winery) and extensive vineyards.

“This is a very bold step into the future for our business,” states Anthony von Mandl. “Mark Anthony is 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.”

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months. The terms of the purchase agreement were not disclosed by Mark Anthony.

Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to The Mark Anthony Group of Companies.

About The Mark Anthony Group of Companies
The Mark Anthony Group of Companies is one of North America’s most diversified and successful private beverage companies focused on the alcohol beverage sector. Founded in 1972, the Company grew organically from a one man wine importing business to a producer and distributor of fine wine, spirits, premium beer and today is the largest Flavored Malt Beverage (FMB) Company in North America, and the 4th largest Ready to Drink (RTD) Company in the world. The Company’s Founder, Chairman & CEO is also the Proprietor of VMF Estates, a collection of prestigious wineries and estate vineyards in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. In addition, Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits proudly represents many of the world’s leading wine, spirits and beer brands, providing seamless services from producer to consumer throughout Canada. www.markanthony.com

For further information: Ian Galbraith, The Mark Anthony Group of Companies, (604) 269-7017, igalbraith@markanthony.com

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