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Heileman to shut Schmidt brewery after bid is withdrawn.

Heileman to shut Schmidt brewery after bid is withdrawn

G. Heileman Brewing Co. has announced it will close the Jacob Schmidt brewery early next month following withdrawal of a bid by Schmidt distributor Sohan Sahota to buy the St. Paul plant.

Sahota called officials of the LaCrosse, WI, company last week to say he was sending Heileman a formal withdrawal of his bid, said Heileman spokesman Randy Hull.

Sahota's financing plans for the deal apparently fell through after workers rejected a package of concessions that Sahota had been seeking, Hull said.

The rejection was attributed largely to Sahota's demand that union contracts not be binding on a future owner if he were to sell the brewery. Union leaders said such a move would endanger the worker's jobs or expose them to drastic wage and benefit cuts after the sale.

"I tried my best," Sahota said. "I can look back tomorrow or a year after and say I did everything I could. It is their decision."

Heileman had entered into a preliminary sales agreement with Sahota on May 22 with the stipulation that financing would be in place by May 31. Heileman extended the deadline after Mayor Jim Scheibel requested additional time to finalize the arrangements.

Heileman plans to shut down the brewery as of July 3. The company will put together severance packages for workers and help them find other jobs, either within the Heileman system or elsewhere, Hull said.

While Heileman is no longer considering bids for the brewery operation, the company will work with Scheibel's office to find a buyer for the building and its equipment, Hull said.
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Title Annotation:G. Heileman Brewing Company Inc.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jun 18, 1990
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