After years as the property of a charitable institution, Pabst Brewing looks likely to be sold to C. Dean Metropoulos. The Wall Street Journal reports that Metropoulos will be paying the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation about $250 million for the company, a collection of brands and employees that owns no brewing facilities (Pabst's brands are all brewed under contract). Here's the nut of the story for those who are not WSJ subscribers:
Investor C. Dean Metropoulos made a fortune building well-known consumer brands including Bumble Bee Tuna and Vlasic Pickles. Now, he is looking to wash them down with a Pabst Blue Ribbon.It's just me, but if Mr. Metropoulos really wants to "invigorate" this brand...he should buy/build a brewery for it. Give Pabst a home, Mr. Metropoulos; give it back its soul. And maybe give it back some hops while you're at it.
Mr. Metropoulos, a 64-year-old executive known for invigorating brands, has reached an agreement to buy Pabst Brewing Co. from the charitable foundation that owns the company for about $250 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Although little known outside of food circles, he earned a fortune managing brands such as Chef Boyardee, Duncan Hines and Ghirardelli Chocolates. With Pabst, Mr. Metropoulos is showing his deal-making skills.
About 15 other private-equity firms, including Morgan Stanley's private-equity arm, had considered a bid, said people familiar with the matter. The purchase is in its final stages and has the financial backing of General Electric Co.'s lending arm, the people said.
Pabst Brewing is the country's fifth-largest beer supplier, according to industry newsletter Beer Marketers Insights Inc., accounting for 2.7% of industry volume last year. Pabst's blue-collar roots have made the brand-known among beer cognoscenti as PBR-a beer of choice for a generation of irony-loving hipsters from Portland, Ore., to Manhattan's Lower East Side.