|My daughters favorite beer PBR, and around here a favorite among new legal age drinkers. I don't see how this deal can go through the FTC successfully. This with the Obama's administration ban on Russian trade. |
Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company
Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY 5:50 p.m. EDT September 19, 2014
(Photo: Rene Alston, USA TODAY)
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Pabst Blue Ribbon — a sub-premium beer brand that embraced savvy marketing to stay relevant in a craft beer age — has been sold, along with its parent, Pabst Brewing Co., to Russian company Oasis Beverages.
The companies declined to disclose the sale price, but beverage industry analysts estimate the sale at nearly $750 million — a figure nearly three times the estimated $250 million that C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. paid for it in 2010. Oasis Beverages' partner in the purchase is TSC Consumer Partners, a consumer products company that will take a minority stake Pabst.
Besides the familiar Pabst Blue Ribbon label, Pabst Brewing Co. makes Colt 45, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz. It also makes regional brews such as Lone Star, Rainier and Old Style.
The sales comes at a time the U.S. and the global beer industries both are dynamically evolving. In recent years, foreign beer makers have been gobbling up the big U.S. beer brands. At the same time, craft beers have become the industry's fastest-growing sector. Craft beer in the U.S. has 7.8% market share, up from about 4.9% in 2010, reports All About Beer Magazine, the nation's oldest beer consumer magazine.
Even in that environment, Pabst — a lower-priced brand that is anything but craft — has still managed to ratchet-up its popularity with the trend-setting, Millennial beer drinker.
"Pabst very successfully targeted hipsters looking for alternative brand choices," says Chris Rice, president and publisher of All About Beer Magazine. "There's a lot of crossover between the Pabst brand and craft beer drinkers."
Never mind that few other sub-premium brands have had much luck with Millennials.
Pabst Brewing has an iconic past and many baby boomers still recall the familiar, shouted slogan from its 1950s-era commercials: "What'll You Have? Pabst Blue Ribbon."
More recently, Pabst Brewing has embraced pop culture. In 2011, comedian Will Ferrell showed up in its Old Milwaukee beer ads, and in 2010, hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg starred in a Blast by Colt 45 commercial.
Pabst was acquired in 2010 by C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., which is known for investing in food brands, including Twinkie maker Hostess.
Pabst Brewing traces its roots back to 1844 in Milwaukee. Pabst Blue Ribbon in particular has also grown in popularity among people in their 20s and 30s in part for its blue-collar and retro appeal, as well as for its cheap price.
Still, Pabst accounts for less than 3% of the U.S. beer market, said Eric Shepard, executive editor of Beer Marketer's Insights, an industry tracker. He also noted that many of the most popular beers in the U.S. are already owned by foreign companies. Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser and Bud Light, is based in Belgium.
In a statement, Oasis Chairman Eugene Kashper called Pabst Blue Ribbon the "quintessential American brand — it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression — all the things that make this country great."
Kashper will serve as CEO of Pabst Brewing, which will keep its headquarters in Los Angeles.
Contributing: Associated Press