Golden Opportunities Fund Announces Pending Buyout of Oldest Microbrewery in Manitoba

November 8, 2016


For Immediate Release
DATE November 8, 2016

Golden Opportunities Fund Inc. (“Golden”) is pleased to announce it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with Fort Garry Brewing Company Ltd. (“FGB”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Russell Breweries Inc. (TSX Venture: RB) (“RBI”) whereby Golden, with investment capital raised from Manitoba investors, and a group of local Manitoba-based strategic partners, along with certain key employees of the organization have agreed to purchase all of the assets used by FGB in its business of producing craft beer in Manitoba.  The total purchase price of the business is $7.7 million, which is subject to customary closing conditions and working capital adjustments at the time of closing.  The existing leadership team and employee base will continue to operate the company in Winnipeg.

FGB was originally established by B.W. Hoeschen in 1930.  It is the original and oldest microbrewery in Manitoba, and a market leader in the local craft beer industry.  Initially, FGB produced two staple products, Frontier Stout and Frontier Beer, the latter of which gained international recognition when it won “Best in Class” in an England-based competition against other commonwealth breweries.  In 1960, FGB was acquired by Molson, and during the 1990 merger between Molson and Carling O’Keefe, the brewery was closed.  Nine years later, the brewery was reopened by Richard Hoeschen, the great grandson of the brewery’s original founder. In 2007, FGB was acquired by Russell Breweries Inc., taking the ownership of the brewery outside of Manitoba.

“Golden is pleased to announce its newest pending MBO investment, which espouses our belief in the strength of locally driven, locally owned and locally operated business.  Consistent with our MBO investment philosophy, we have partnered with a strong group of local investors and key employees of Fort Garry to regain the business as a grass-roots Manitoba business,” stated Grant Kook, President and CEO of Golden.

The craft brewery industry in Canada is in a growth mode that has impacted Manitoba breweries well with the industry seeing 12% growth in the past year.  Located in the Tuxedo Industrial Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba, FGB operates out of a 25,000 square foot facility and through recent expansion now has the capacity to produce annual volumes of 24,000 hectoliters of beer annually. Today, FGB produces in excess of twenty different brands, which, on a combined basis cater to the entire spectrum of the beer consumer, including classics such as Frontier Pilsner and FGB Dark, as well as seasonal and special release craft products.  The products are sold at over 200 restaurants, pubs, bars, and retail outlets across the province and come in a variety of formats including 6 and 12 pack cases of 341 ml bottles, 471 ml cans, 650 ml bottles and growlers which can be purchased at the brewery and select Manitoba Liquor Marts.

The completion of the transaction represents significant development in the history of the company, re-establishing local Manitoba residents as the beneficial owners of the brewery.

About Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.: Golden is a retail venture capital fund launched as the first in the Province of Saskatchewan in 1999 and raising Manitoba investment capital since 2008.  The Fund has invested almost $341 million in 127 companies since its inception and has more than 28,000 shareholders across the two provinces.

For further information, please contact:

Wanda Hunchak, Vice President
Westcap Mgt. Ltd.
830 – 410 – 22nd St., E.
Saskatoon, SK
Tel: (306) 652-5557