Processing Magazine

Molson Coors brewery sale talks stall

June 14, 2006

A Wisconsin-based company has halted plans to buy the Molson Coors Brewing Co. brewery after negotiations with the local union bogged down, according to the Associated Press. The move comes less than a month after La Crosse, Wis.-based City Brewing Co. announced its intent to buy the brewery, which employs 350 people and produces about 5 million barrels a year. Molson Coors, which reported a net loss of $30.2 million in the first quarter of this year, plans to close the Memphis plant in September as part of wider expense-cutting. Union officials said City Brewing wanted deep concessions from employees. City Brewing produces about 1.6 million barrels a year and was the fifth largest craft brewer in the United States in 2005, according to the Brewers Association. Molson Coors officials said they will continue searching for a buyer. The plant brews Coors Light for export, plus Zima XXX, Keystone Light and Blue Moon. Production of those products has begun to shift to other plants. The brewery started out as a Schlitz brewery in 1971 and was sold to Stroh Brewery Co. before becoming part of Adolph Coors Co. in 1990.