The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc., brewer of Schlafly Beer has signed a purchase agreement that will transfer a 60% ownership interest in the business to a local investor group led by Wes Jones and John Lemkemeier of St. Louis and including David Schlafly, also of St. Louis, the first cousin of Tom Schlafly, Co-Founder and President of the company. The agreement provides for closing upon issuance of necessary licenses and permits from federal, state and local governments, a process that could take several months.
Tom Schlafly said, “The agreement with Wes and John meets the criteria we set back in June of 2010, when we first discussed a succession plan for ownership of the brewery. Senior and long-term employees will be able to purchase stock in the company; and I’m transferring a majority interest to local investors committed to keeping the business in St. Louis.”
Mr. Schlafly will initially retain an interest of approximately 20% and serve as Chairman of the Brewery. Dan Kopman, Co-Founder and current Chief Operating Officer, will own at least a 10% interest and serve as Chief Executive Officer. Ten percent (10%) of the business will be available for purchase by eligible employees.
Mr. Jones said, “We are highly impressed by the business Dan and Tom have built over the past 20 years and the outstanding beers they produce under the Schlafly label. Added Mr. Lemkemeier, “We look forward to Dan and Tom’s continued leadership of St. Louis’s largest locally-owned brewery. We also welcome the Schlafly employees’ having the opportunity to participate in the ownership of the business they have helped to build.”
Mr. Kopman said, “I’m very pleased by what Wes, John and their investor group bring to the table. Their focus on joining with management teams in long term investments in successful businesses makes them the right partner for us.”
The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. has been producing fine craft beers in St. Louis since 1991 and recently celebrated its 20thh anniversary. It sold over 42,000 barrels of beer in 2011, representing growth of more than 20% from the prior year. In 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, Schlafly was the 42nd largest craft brewery in the United States.