Bidding war for Sleeman?

The Globe & Mail reports that that four beer makers were expected to make their bids for Sleeman before the company’s self-imposed deadline – and that a bidding war may arise.

Prospective buyers include Molson Coors Brewing Co. and Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., as well as Royal Grolsch NV of the Netherlands and Sapporo Breweries Ltd. of Japan, two overseas companies that distribute in Canada through Sleeman.

Other deals also seem possible.

While speculation swirls around which company might be the winning suitor, Blackmont Capital analyst David Hartley suggested independent brewer Moosehead Breweries Ltd. could sneak in and merge with Sleeman, although Moosehead says it has no such plans.

Sleeman, Canada’s third-largest brewer with 7 per cent of the country’s beer market, said in May it would begin a “strategic review” that could involve a sale.