SABMiller announces Tumwater Brewery closure plan
10 January 2003
SABMiller plc, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Miller Brewing Company (MBCo), has announced plans to close its Tumwater Brewery, in Washington State, USA.
The planned closure, which will be effective from 1 July 2003, will improve MBCo's overall operating costs and brewing efficiency across the company. Tumwater Brewery is the smallest of MBCo's breweries, producing 1.7 million barrels (2 million hectolitres) in 2002, and significant expenditure is needed to update the brewery beyond the planned closing date. Production at the brewery will be phased to other MBCo breweries before the planned closure takes place.
Tumwater Brewery has about 400 employees. MBCo will offer severance benefits and outplacement services to affected salaried employees, and is in discussions with unions regarding its 346 hourly paid employees at the brewery.
The impact of the closure plan will not affect current distribution arrangements of MBCo trademark brands in the area, since these have never been brewed at Tumwater. Production of Hamm's, Henry Weinhard's, Mickey's and Olde English 800, as well as MBCo's flavoured malt beverages, and a number of brands brewed under contract for Pabst, will be moved to other breweries as part of the closure plan, and availability of these beverages to consumers will continue as before.
Notes to editors
SABMiller is the world's second largest brewer by volume with pro forma 2001/02 lager volumes in excess of 120 million hectolitres and is also the world's leading brewer in developing markets. It has 112 brewing operations and over 69,000 employees, in 24 countries across Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, North and Central America and Asia. It has a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world. SABMiller is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges and has a market capitalisation of US$7 billion (approximately R60.8 billion).
The Tumwater brewery is the smallest of MBCo's seven breweries (excluding the two specialist Leinenkugel breweries which operate as a subsidiary of MBCo) and was acquired from Pabst Brewing Company in 1999. In 2002 it brewed 1.7 million barrels of the four brands that MBCo acquired from Pabst in 1999 and the former Stroh Brewery Company (Hamm's, Henry Weinhard's, Mickey's and Olde English 800), as well as MBCo's flavoured malt beverages and a number of brands under contract for Pabst.
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Anna Miller Salzman
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Head of Corporate Communications
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