Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
TSX : ALE

Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

October 18, 2006 11:45 ET

Sleeman Breweries Moves Forward With New Ownership

John Sleeman to remain CEO; Business continues as usual with launch of new Sleeman Light

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 18, 2006) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

With the announcement yesterday that Sapporo Breweries Ltd. ("Sapporo")(TSE:2501), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Silver 2501 Canada Inc., completed its acquisition of Sleeman Breweries Ltd. ("Sleeman")(TSX:ALE), Sleeman today discussed how it intends to move forward under the new ownership structure.

"The deal with Sapporo represents fair value for Sleeman shareholders and we're pleased that they overwhelmingly supported the acquisition," said John Sleeman, Chairman and CEO of Sleeman Breweries. "We look forward to working with an owner that has the financial resources to continue to grow and build the Sleeman business."

John Sleeman, who tendered all of his shares to the offer, will remain as Chairman and CEO of Sleeman Breweries and will continue to lead the company into the future. The rest of the senior management team will also be retained. Augmenting the existing management team, Kenny Sadai, General Manager, International Division of Sapporo Breweries, will work with John Sleeman to oversee the growth of the business.

"We are thrilled to add Sleeman Breweries, its highly skilled workforce and its long-standing, quality brewing heritage to the Sapporo family," said Nobuhiro Hashiba, Senior Operating Officer International Division of Sapporo Breweries. "With Sleeman, Sapporo will be a leader in the Canadian premium beer market. We're excited about the long-term growth opportunities that a stronger relationship with Sleeman will offer moving forward."

Sapporo is looking to improve efficiencies in Sleeman operations and for ways to grow the business in the highly competitive North American market. To achieve this, Sapporo intends to make significant investments in capital and research & development as well as increase sales and marketing support behind the Sleeman brand in North America.

Introducing... new Sleeman Light

Supporting its 'business-as-usual' strategy, Sleeman recently launched new Sleeman Light in the Ontario and Quebec markets.

"Even in the midst of this acquisition, Sapporo has already begun to support our approach to the market by backing our launch of new Sleeman Light," said John Sleeman. "With this beer we're meeting the needs of discriminating beer drinkers by offering a premium alternative to the popular mainstream light beers."

Sleeman Light is available now in Ontario through The Beer Store and Quebec in various retail locations.

About Sleeman

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 brands in Canada. The company markets and/or distributes world class imported products such as Guinness, Grolsch, Samuel Adams, Scottish & Newcastle, Sol, Sapporo, and Pilsner Urquell, and produces Sapporo Breweries products. The company's products are also available in selected international markets.

An archived copy of the teleconference will shortly be available on Sleeman's website at www.sleeman.ca in the Investor Relations section.

About Sapporo

Sapporo Holdings Limited is a Japanese holding company with an enterprise value of C$4.3 billion that is active in four business segments. Its Alcohol segment is engaged in the manufacture and sale of beer, sparkling liquor, wine, brandy and others. The Company manufactures alcohol products including Sapporo Draft Beer, Yebisu Beer and Draft One. The company distributes Guinness, Yellow Tail and Beringer in Japan. The Beverage segment manufactures and sells beverages, such as tea, mineral water, coffee, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, health drinks, sports drinks and others. It distributes Ocean Spray Cranberry in Japan. Its Restaurant segment is involved in the operation of beer parlors and restaurants under the store name Ginza Lion. The Real Estate segment is engaged in the operation and management of complex facilities that contains offices, housing, restaurants, and commercial and cultural facilities under the name Yebisu Garden Place, in addition to commercial and amusement complex facilities.

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