Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
TSX : ALE

Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

May 12, 2006 16:50 ET

Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is Reviewing Strategic Options for Enhancing Shareholder Value

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2006) - Sleeman Breweries Ltd. (TSX:ALE) today announces that it has initiated a review of strategic options available to the company for enhancing shareholder value, including, but not limited to, offers to acquire shares or assets of Sleeman, a recapitalization review or business combination. The company has retained BMO Nesbitt Burns to assist in the review. There can be no assurance that the review will result in any specific strategic or financial transaction and no timetable has been set for its completion.

"Sleeman has grown significantly in the past five years. We have expanded our core business and premium brewing portfolio, made acquisitions, developed a coast to coast sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure, forged international partner relationships and steadily brewed and sold more beer," said John Sleeman, Chairman and CEO. "We are and have been enhancing our ability to support this growth through numerous cost saving operational initiatives and now Sleeman has a unique opportunity to leverage these assets to further build the business and deliver long term shareholder value."

"Sleeman stands at a critical point in its evolution," continued John Sleeman. "It makes sense for us at this time to evaluate all of the different ways in which we can capitalize on the opportunities that benefit shareholders, utilize the experience of our employees, provide the best possible capital structure and allow Sleeman to be more competitive in the premium beer category. The Board of Directors believes it is appropriate to undertake a comprehensive review of all our strategic and financial options to determine the best method to maximize shareholder value."

Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is the leading brewer and distributor of premium beer in Canada and the third largest brewing company nation-wide. The Company has supplemented its core Sleeman brands, which are available in every province, with a family of exceptional regional brands. These include Okanagan Spring and Shaftebury in British Columbia and Alberta, Upper Canada in Ontario, Unibroue and Seigneuriale in Quebec and Maritime Beer in Atlantic Canada. Sleeman entered the rapidly growing value price category in 1999 by acquiring the Stroh portfolio of brands in Canada. The company markets and/or distributes world-class imported products such as Guinness, Grolsch, Samuel Adams, Scottish & Newcastle (including Bulmers Strongbow English Cider), Sol, Sapporo and Pilsner Urquell, and provides contract production for Japan's Sapporo Breweries' products. The Company's products are also available in selected international markets. Please visit our website at www.sleeman.com.

Forward Looking Statements

All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively relate to historical facts constitute forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees. Although the Company believes that these forward-looking statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a number of factors that could cause actual results to vary significantly from current expectations. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time, including in the Risks and Uncertainties section of the management's discussion and analysis included in the Company's 2005 Annual Report. Potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating these forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them. The forward-looking statements included in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake to publicly update these forward-looking statements or material factors or assumptions to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Investor/Media Relations:
    Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
    John Sleeman, Chairman & CEO
    (519) 822-1834
    (519) 822-0221 (FAX)
    or
    Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
    Murray Mateyk, CFO
    (519) 826-5437
    (519) 822-3164 (FAX)
    www.sleeman.ca