Schlafly Beer
11:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Schlafly company sells 60 percent of company to local investors

Updated 5:05 p.m. with more information, comment

Schlafly Beer's parent company, St. Louis Brewing Inc., is selling 60 percent of its ownership interest to the local investor group Sage Capital.

"We're a St. Louis company and St. Louis has been very good to us. I want to keep the business right here," said the brewery's co-founder and president, Tom Schlafly.  "In that sense we've taken the non-Pujols approach - that sometimes it's worth leaving a little money on the table in order to stay in the community that's been so good to us."

Tom Schlafly will retain about a 20 percent stake in what remains St. Louis's largest locally-owned brewery. The company's co-founder, Dan Kopman, will get at least a 10 percent interest and become the company's chief executive officer.  10 percent of company shares will be made available to senior and long-term employees.

John Lemkemeier, co-founder and managing member of Sage Group, says the sale ensures the company's future in St. Louis.

"We're a local investor group and the idea is: get involved with these guys and support the continued growth of the company," Lemkemeier said. "The formula they've got is working really well and we think it works well going into the future."

Sage Capital invests primarily in long-term private businesses. This is the firm's first investment in the beer industry, Lemkemeier said.

The price of the deal was not immediately disclosed. David Schlafly, a cousin of Tom Schlafly, is also part of the investment group. The sale still needs federal, state and local permits, so completion of the deal could take several months.