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Native corporation buys Alaska’s largest alcohol retailer

June 3, 2020 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska Native village corporation from the Kodiak Island region has acquired the state’s largest retailer of liquor, wine and beer.

Afognak Native Corp. announced Monday it completed the purchase of the Brown Jug chain from Canadian firm Alcanna Inc., The Anchorage Daily News reported.

Alcanna, based in Edmonton, Alberta, said in an earnings statement Monday that the sale will generate about $21 million.


The deal includes the chain’s 21 stores in the Anchorage area, Wasilla and Fairbanks, plus a warehouse, Afognak said in a statement.

Brown Jug employs 218 Alaska residents and generates more than $80 million in yearly revenues.

The purchase will allow the retailer to increase operational revenue and reduce its reliance on government contracting, the company said.

The village corporation plans to prioritize employee training to comply with strict regulations in the liquor sales industry, Afognak Executive Vice President Alisha Drabek said.

“Our focus is on promoting safe use and compliance,” Drabek said. “This is an opportunity for us to take a leadership role in the state on that.”

The Brown Jug stores will require large investments to remain strong and Alcanna would prefer to focus its interests in Canada, Alcanna Chief Executive James Burns said.

“It was important to Alcanna that if we sold our Alaska business, it was to a responsible buyer with the financial resources and corporate aspirations to take the business to the next level,” he said. “Afognak met those criteria extremely well.”

Brown Jug was founded in Alaska more than 80 years ago. An Alaskan family owned and operated the company for decades before selling it to a predecessor of Alcanna in 2008.

Afognak Native Corp. was created in 1977 with the merger of two village corporations from the Kodiak region. Afognak and its subsidiaries employ more than 4,000 people.