Rochester, N.Y. -- Steve Becker knew his employer, North American Breweries would be sold, it was just a matter of time.
“When KPS took over the brewery they told us that they were going to keep it and sell it,” said Becker, who has worked at the Genesee Brewery as a mechanic for 34 years.
KPS Capital Partners made good on that promise Friday, agreeing to sell NAB, makers of Genesee, Dundee Ales and Lagers to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A.
“This is great because of all the scenarios that we have, this is the best. Nobody’s job is at stake, the name of the company will remain the same, North American Breweries,” said Rich Lozyniak, C.E.O. of North American Breweries.
Cerveceria is a subsidiary of Florida Ice and Farm, S.A., a South American beverage giant.
“I think it’s a great recipe for tremendous success,” said Paul Markwitz, Business Agent for Teamsters 118 which represents 300 brewery workers.
Becker said KPS invested to improve the company before selling it, but he’s looking forward to the advances Cerveceria will bring.
“When you have a beverage company come in you'd hope they wouldn’t go backwards they'd go forwards and help out and put more modern equipment and better equipment,” Becker said.
Analyst George Conboy said the sale represents a dose of good news in what has been a trying time for local manufacturing workers.
“At Kodak, technology has changed utterly, at Xerox, it’s changing but the beer business has been around since the time of Pharaohs and brewing grain and water to make a drinkable beverage isn’t likely to change anytime soon,” said Conboy.
The sale is pending regulatory approval, but is expected to be finalized by the end of the year according to Lozyniak.