ANCHORAGE, AK , July 22 /PRNewswire/ - Brown Jug Inc. ("Brown Jug"), Alaska's premier retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, has agreed to sell its liquor stores to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquor Stores Income Fund ("Liquor Stores Group") of Edmonton, Alberta . All 19 of Brown Jug's stores in Anchorage , Eagle River , and Wasilla , including one under construction, will be acquired.
Brown Jug and its predecessors have been in the liquor retailing business in greater Anchorage for over 50 years. Brown Jug currently employs approximately 170 people in Alaska . The sale will not result in a change to the number of job positions.
To assist with the transition, Brown Jug co-owners Lowell Shinn , President, and Ed O'Neill , Vice Chairman, have agreed to remain in the business in a consulting capacity following completion of the sale. In addition, Mr. O'Neill has agreed to serve as an officer of the group's new company, in order to maintain Brown Jug's community involvement.
"Brown Jug looks forward to continuing to serve Alaskans under the stewardship of Canada's leading private liquor retailer," said Mr. O'Neill. "We are very pleased that Liquor Stores Group intends to continue with Brown Jug's approach to operational excellence, employee satisfaction and social responsibility."
Irv Kipnes , Chief Executive Officer of Liquor Stores Group, added, "We are very pleased with the opportunity to make a significant first acquisition of one of the U.S.'s best operated private liquor companies. We intend to build on Brown Jug's admirable reputation in Alaska for community activism and responsible retailing. This includes a continued commitment to help eliminate underage drinking, fight drunk driving and assist in the many social and community programs which Brown Jug supports. We look forward to becoming part of the Alaskan community."
"We will continue the policy of special alcohol server training and paying bonuses to employees for seizing fraudulent and underage ID cards from minors," said Mr. Kipnes. "And we will continue to sponsor cleaning efforts at camps for the homeless, as well as to donate time and money to Alaska organizations and fundraisers."
"Like Brown Jug, Liquor Stores Group is dedicated to providing our employees with a great work environment and equal opportunity for learning and professional growth. Liquor Stores Group strongly believes that a commitment to diversity ensures that all employees and customers are treated with respect and dignity."
Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to close before December, 2008. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Brown Jug
With 19 locations throughout Anchorage , Eagle River , and Wasilla , Brown Jug is Alaska's premier retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, and is the recipient of numerous community and industry awards. Brown Jug and its employees are a past winner of the Anchorage School District Community Leadership Award and a recipient of the 2007 National Market Watch Community Service Award. Further, Brown Jug was awarded the "Licensee of the Year" award in 2007 by the Association of American Beverage Licensees for its unique approach to preventing underage drinking. Since 1998, Brown Jug employees have seized almost 2000 ID's from minors attempting to purchase, more than all of the other package stores in Alaska combined.
All Brown Jug employees are required to complete a "Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol" class, (TIPS), within 30 days of starting to work in a store. Among other things, training covers refusing the sale of alcohol to known public inebriates, or anyone else whom we believe may harm themselves or others by using alcohol. Brown Jug store employees are re-certified through TIPS every 12 to 18 months. Brown Jug currently has 4Â certified TIPS trainers on staff, the senior trainer has been certified for over 20 years.