News "Bell's Brewery Inc. to be sold? Larry Bell says it's possible"

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,551) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Michigan Live reports that Larry Bell is trying to buyout the remainder of the company's shareholders. The goal is to be in a postion where he can pass Bell's Brewery to his children, however it sounds like there's some strained relations with shareholders and if things aren't resolved soon ... Larry is open to selling the brewery.
    Read the full article:
  2. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    (Key Bass Line...) Another one bites the dust! I don't blame them, but what a shame.
    HIGHPA likes this.
  3. olympuszymurgus

    olympuszymurgus Zealot (582) Nov 24, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Dear Larry Bell-

    Dude, don't be like that. Eat some crow, even if they are in the wrong, and bury the hatchet. Be cool.


    -sincerely, Joe.
    afrokaze and commis like this.
  4. raymo55

    raymo55 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Other shareholders will not comment??? Come on kzoobrew....step your game up....begin Project "SAVE BELLS" !
  5. bushycook

    bushycook Aspirant (235) Jan 31, 2011 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    So as some breweries go the way of GI (and maybe into irrelevant mediocracy, who knows, it's yet to be seen) dozens of other competant, creative nanos and micros will take their place.
    TWStandley, Kotie, gklover1 and 4 others like this.
  6. sleuthdog

    sleuthdog Devotee (430) Oct 21, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm of the mindset if the great beers remain and whoever buys them leaves these said beers alone, does it really matter? Take Goose Island for example. Word has it that BCBS may become a year round offering and I for one am excited about that. I can only assume that their buyout had something to do with this expansion of their barrel aging abilities.
    Mavajoo and Chaz like this.
  7. kylezacharysmith

    kylezacharysmith Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2012

    not sure why anyone would prefer Bell's pass to Larry's children in the event of his death... that is all this is about. I am not persuaded that Laura and David would necessarily be better stewards of the brand than anyone else.
    Bluecane likes this.
  8. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,121) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Says who? I don't envy them at all with the financial situation and growing pains but a quote like that sounds like the stress is taking its toll on him. You are only as old as you feel ...
    Blueribbon666 and hoplover888 like this.
  9. Dcv

    Dcv Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2009 Michigan

    It would be interesting to know how much he is offering per share of stock. I also wonder how many outstanding shares are out there, and what percentage Larry currently has ownership of. I think when Bell's first started up they offered to pay some employees with stock when they were having cash flow problems. I just don't know how many people got that option, or how much they got.

    If the shareholders feel they are being low-balled on the value of their stock, I don't see why they should sell.
  10. pocwolf

    pocwolf Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2009 Michigan

    The death of the canning line was sad to hear also. I was so looking forward to 2 hearted in a can while in a kayak.
  11. travMI13

    travMI13 Aspirant (213) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This would really be sad, but I will reserve freaking out until it if/when it actually happens.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  12. jakeaustin

    jakeaustin Aspirant (260) Dec 23, 2007 Maine
    Industry Beer Trader

    I for one would welcome new BMC owners. If hopslam is so good just imagine triple hopslam
    gklover1, Swim424 and birchholz like this.
  13. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Yah, it doesn't sound like this thing is even close to being the final verdict. Wait and see.
  14. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I'm no stock holder so cannot speak for them, as soon as I find out who we need to save Bell's from I'll get right on it. At the very least I'll start a "Help Kzoobrew buy Bell's" Kickstarter project.:wink:

    Oi Vey. More is not always better. I do believe most of us locals prefer that a Kalamazoo based company stays Kalamazoo based.
  15. jakeaustin

    jakeaustin Aspirant (260) Dec 23, 2007 Maine
    Industry Beer Trader

    Just trying to make a triple hops brewed joke....
    Swim424 and beerFool28607 like this.
  16. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Missed that one, it is rather apparent now.
  17. EricCioe

    EricCioe Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 Montana

    Can someone elaborate on this?
  18. LaneMeyer

    LaneMeyer Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2011 California

    I for one welcome our new BMC overlords.
    YogiBeer, WillCarrera, ant880 and 4 others like this.
  19. bradner

    bradner Aspirant (287) Dec 26, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    A lot of freaking out about nothing! So what if they sell, if they still produce quality brews I will continue to drink. If you can't stand "big beer" ownership move on and find another local or mom-n-pop brewery. Just one man's opinion.
    sleuthdog likes this.
  20. steebo777

    steebo777 Zealot (511) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    No canning line... That sucks! First I heard that it is cancelled.
  21. EricCioe

    EricCioe Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 Montana

    Yeah, this is the real news in this thread to me. I'll worry about a sale if it happens someday.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  22. robge

    robge Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2010 Illinois

    I say he should sell it. Let Bell's go to hell with the "shareholders" and then he can start a new brewery with that money that is all his (and his children's).
    Swim424 likes this.
  23. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    I lol'd.
  24. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    When someone is trying to trying to buy out minority shareholders, there are inevitably "holdout" problems -- basically, the last shareholders have all the leverage and can demand a very high price. So, there are often intense, hostile negotiations. Mr. Bell may really intend to sell, but this may also be posturing, which would be completely reasonable and expected in these circumstances.
  25. beerFool28607

    beerFool28607 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 North Carolina

    That's deep.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  26. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,419) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I'm sure his battle with cancer took a lot out of him.
  27. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,121) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    Hopefully that is never a factor for him again ...
    GRPunk and Swim424 like this.
  28. pocwolf

    pocwolf Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2009 Michigan

    In the main article Larry Bell states that due to the problems he his having with the shareholders he is putting the canning line on hold.
  29. adamdd

    adamdd Initiate (0) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    I posted to an earlier thread in the Great Lakes forum that has since been deleted. I was hoping kzoobrew had some more insight, but the poor man can only do so much. The way I understand it, his ex-wife is the one of the outstanding shareholders that has been a problem. The article talks about a previous lawsuit that "other shareholders" filed againt Larry a few years ago. There was also some significant controversy with these shareholders when they announced the major expansion that is just finishing up. It had to do with it being a completely cash project (I don't think it was financed at all), and that this was taking money away that would normally be paid to the shareholders. Anyway, I hope this is just saber-rattling and posturing, because I don't want to see Bell's sold. Love him or not, Larry has done a lot for craft beer and Kalamazoo.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  30. DrDoitchbig

    DrDoitchbig Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2009 Michigan

    According to this article Larry holds 56.2% of the shares and the rest is held by 39 other shareholders. But that information is years old at this point.
  31. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    There is no way they're not gonna feel they're being low-balled. They're basically being forced to sell or see the whole company get sold. I'm sure some of them would rather not sell their shares and bells not get sold but thats not an option. I'm sure the number Larry would have to come up with to have some of them sell would be ridiculous because those shareholders will feel like they're being forced to lose out on the growth that the company is sure to experience in the next few years and as a result the appreciation of their shares. They're probably thinking something along the lines of but my shares would be worth more than what you're offering in 3 years.

    There's no better sale than the one you don't want to make because you will get every last penny that the guy that wants to buy you out is willing to give.
  32. BeerGuyDave

    BeerGuyDave Initiate (0) May 7, 2012

    Larry c'mon down to Nashville and. Let's start a brewpub BrickBell South.... Lots of beer geeks down here you'd rule the place!
  33. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Granted, I don't know much about business/finance, but isn't this impossible? As long as he doesn't own the entire company, I don't see how he could sell the entire company. Wouldn't Bell just be selling his (and his family's) shares to some third party, giving them majority holding and therefore control over most of the brewery operations?
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  34. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Not necessarily. Depends how the by-laws are written. In most cases a majority or a super-majority (maybe 67% of 75%) of shares voting yes can trigger a sale of ALL shares. Happens all the time with public companies. You cant get 100% of shareholders voting yes on anything.
  35. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I guess that makes sense.
  36. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Experience. Ive had stock Ive owned get sold out from under me a number of times. Sometimes you get cash, sometimes shares in the purchasing company, sometimes a bit of both. While the process is different (maybe) for privately vs publicly held companies, the principle is the same.
  37. aubuc1

    aubuc1 Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2007 Florida

    Transitioning ownership from one owner whether it be to heirs or other shareholders is never easy. As much as I love Bell's, I hope that the Bell family does what is best for their family.
  38. JCDenver

    JCDenver Initiate (142) Feb 8, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader


    I wasn't even aware that was a possibility. Would have been awesome....
  39. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,284) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    No Bells beer here in NY, and far as I know, so long as Larry owns the company, no Bells beer EVER here in NY;

    So, if selling the company means some future owner will ship Expedition Stout to NY all I gotta say is

    SELL, BABY, SELL !!!!!!!
    beerFool28607, suspect and plaid75 like this.
  40. HopsJunkiedotcom

    HopsJunkiedotcom Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2010 Florida

    Yeah, I think it would be sad if he sold it. I can just see the philosophy and quality going down. It may make no difference, but it would somehow be a sadder day to me. Crazy Larry wouldn't be as crazy anymore.
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