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Pabst confirms plans to sell company.

As reported last week, the Pabst Brewing Co. has retained Merrill Lynch & Co. to seek buyers for the company. Pabst, based in San Antonio, TX, is owned by the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, which is required by tax law to divest the company by mid-2005, the company said.

The company owns about 50 brands, including Pabst Blue Ribbon, Colt 45, Schlitz Malt Liquor and Old Milwaukee. Many of its brands are Stroh and G. Heileman brands acquired in the buy-out of Stroh Brewery Company. Only 29 of the brands are currently brewed, all under contract, and all at Miller Brewing Co. facilities.

Pabst was founded in Milwaukee in 1844 by a German immigrant and his sons. The company was bought in 1985 by would-be brewery magnate Paul Kalmanovitz for $63 million. Kalmanovitz died two years later, and Pabst was placed in a charitable trust, which under federal law must now explore the possibility of a sale.

Since the late 1980s, Pabst gradually shut down all its breweries, and devolved into a contract brewer. Although the company's brands have been in broad decline, Pabst has reported a resurgence of late in some markets.

Industry watchers said Miller might try to buy some individual brands, like Pabst and Old Milwaukee, but would be unlikely to purchase the whole tottering edifice. Analysts said that private equity buyers or other entrepreneurs are the most likely bidders.
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Title Annotation:Pabst Brewing Co.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 17, 2003
Words:231
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