02/06/2015 05:29 EST | Updated 04/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Mike's Hard Lemonade reported to be exploring sale at $1 billion

A Vancouver public relations advisor to the wine industry says a decision to sell Mike's Hard Lemonade would be a smart business move by the B.C.-based owner of the company.

According to Reuters, the Mark Anthony Group is considering a sale that could put the value of the iconic brand at $1 billion. 

Mike Klassen said statistics from the trade magazine Beverage World recently showed Mike's Hard Lemonade owning almost one-third of the market share for flavoured malt liquor drinks.

"There's a lot of competition in the marketplace, but Mike's has always prevailed, so I just think that it's possibly just a great way to move on to other things," Klassen told Daybreak South.

Mike's Hard Lemonade was introduced in Canada in 1996, but its headquarters are currently located in Chicago.

Anthony von Mandl founded the brand, as well as parent-company The Mark Anthony Group. He also owns the Mission Hill and Cedar Creek wineries in Kelowna.

Klassen credits Von Mandl for coming up with an alternative to cocktails and beer.

"He was very wily and managed to create this brand, Mike's Hard Lemonade, recognizing that there are a lot of guys out there who don't like to drink beer, but they would be happy to try another kind of beverage," Klassen said.

The Mark Anthony Group would not offer any comment on the sale reports.