July 24, 2002
Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) is selling its 80 per cent interest in Great Western Brewing Company of Saskatoon to a group of private investors which includes local business people, brewery management, and former board members. Premier Lorne Calvert and members of the purchasing group made the announcement today at the brewery in Saskatoon.
"We are very pleased to sell CIC's interest in the company to buyers who are committed to the continued growth and success of Great Western," Premier Calvert said. "This is good news for the company and its employees, as well as the people of Saskatoon and the local and provincial economies."
The purchasing group is led by Great Western's CEO and president, Ron Waldman, and former board members and business people Vaughn Wyant and Maurice Duval. The group is buying CIC's interest for $4 million. A CIC loan of $1.3 million will also be repaid.
The 16 founding employee shareholders, who own the remaining 20 per cent of the company, will be offered options to maintain, increase or sell their shares to the purchasing group. Shares will also be offered to employees who are not currently shareholders.
"It is CIC's policy to sell its interest in a company when a good opportunity arises, and that is exactly what we are doing here," Calvert said. "CIC will recover its investment and realize a respectable return. We are proud to have provided the support Great Western needed to get to this stage in its development, and we anticipate a bright future for the company."
Great Western Brewing Company is the only brewery in Saskatchewan. It has won numerous awards for its beers, including recent bronze and silver medals in the World Beer Cup for two of its light beers, Western Premium Light and Brewhouse Light.
Great Western has approximately 85 employees. Carling O'Keefe started the brewery in 1928. It was renamed Great Western in 1990 when it was purchased by 16 employee shareholders using their severance packages and government assistance.
For more information, contact:
Crown Investments Corporation
Phone: (306) 787-5889
Ron Waldman, President and CEO
Great Western Brewing Company
Phone: (306) 653-4653
Cell: (306) 221-2131