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Want to ring home? No problem. Since 10 July 2002, Labatt Breweries has been offering a new service providing people of legal drinking age in select cities across Ontario with free, unlimited long-distance telephone calls. The service is called Labatt Blueline and is supposed to run throughout the summer. According to a corporate statement, Labatt has teamed up with Onlinetel Corp. Theirs is an Internet-based, phone-to-phone technology, which enables the majority of Ontario residents to call their friends in select towns and cities across the province for free, at any time of the day, for as long as they want, as often as they want. The service can be accessed from both cell phones and touch-tone land-line phones. Users can register for a personal PIN code at www.labattblueline.com.

Following the joint deal between Diageo and Pernod Ricard to buy Seagram Spirits and Wines in December 2000, Guinness UDV Canada, a division of Diageo, ended up with more bottling plants than it needed. A bottling plant in west Toronto is to go early next year with the loss of 55 jobs and another bottling operation in LaSalle, Quebec, will be shut down late 2003 or early 2004 with the loss of 210 jobs. Guinness will keep four plants open with a total sales and manufacturing staff of about 1,000 people.

When Molson reported its profit expectations for 2002 some months ago, the cost cutting programme did not say "close three Brazilian plants!" But this is what the Montreal-based brewer intends to do. In March 2002, Molson paid US$765 million for Brazil’s second largest brewer Kaiser and combined it with its existing Brazilian operation, Bavaria. Now Kaiser is going to shut down the breweries at Getulio Vargas, Camacari and Divin- opolis and change its Ribeirao Preto plant to produce cans. Irrespective of concern over Brazil’s currency instability, the market believes that the situation will not have a serious impact on Molson’s operations.

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., the world’s largest brewer, at the end of April sold $250 million of 40-year bonds, said joint book/lead manager Bank of America Securities LLC on Monday. Salomon Smith Barney was the other joint book/lead manager for the sale.

Standard & Poor’s announced that it assigned its triple-"B"-plus rating to brewer Coors Brewing Company’s US$ 750 million senior notes due 2012. Proceeds of the offering will be used to refinance an existing $750 million senior unsecured bridge facility. The notes are guaranteed by parent, Adolph Coors Co. (Coors) and by certain subsidiaries of Coors. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its triple-"B"-plus corporate credit rating for Coors.
The outlook is negative. About US$1.67 billion of total debt was outstanding at Coors on 31 December 2001, pro forma for Coors’ acquisition of
the UK-based Carling business that closed in February 2002.
The rating outlook is stable. The ratings reflect Coors position as the third-largest brewer in the U.S.S..

According to the Institute for Brewing Studies’ annual survey, The Rock Bottom chain of restaurant-breweries sold more than any other brewpub group in 2001. Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc. - including Brew Moons, Walnut Brewery and three ChopHouse and Breweries - sold 39,342 barrels of beer (46,000 hl), an increase of 13 per cent over 2000. Rock Bottom increased its number of brewpubs to 31 nationwide after acquiring 4 Brew Moon Restaurants in the Northeast, one Hops! Bistro and Brewery in Scottsdale, Arizona and Cougan’s Brewery & Grill in Glendale, Arizona. Among the larger chains, Rock Bottom brewery-restaurants also sell the most beer per brewpub unit, with each Rock Bottom averaging approximately 1,269 barrels of beer sales in 2001. "Tabelle"

Adolph Coors Co. announced a first quarter profit rise of 33 per cent from last year, buoyed by its recent acquisition of the Carling business of Bass Brewers in the UK from Interbrew. Coors, the No 3 brewer in the U.S., reported quarterly net income of US$27.2 million, or 75 cents a diluted share, compared with US$18.3 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Included in the results are earnings after 2 February 2002 for Coors Brewers Ltd., the entity formed through its acquisition of the Carling brand and other British beers from Interbrew.
Coors completed its US$1.7 billion acquisition of Carling and other assets from the then world No 2 brewer Interbrew on 4 February. The quarter’s results also included a US$2.9 million. Shares of Coors rose modestly..

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. ended a long family tradition when it named its first chief executive in 142 years who is neither an Anheuser nor a Busch. The producer of top-selling beers such as Budweiser and Bud Light appointed Patrick Stokes, 59, currently in charge of the company’s U.S. beer business, its largest operation, to become president and chief executive on 1 July 2002. He will succeed August Busch III, who will remain as chairman and who turns 65 in June. His son, August Busch IV, 38, who had also been tipped as his successor, will take over from Stokes as head of the US beer unit.
The company reported a 16 per cent rise in first-quarter profits, boosted by higher prices and sales of its new Bacardi Silver flavoured malt drink.
Domestic beer volume rose 1.4 percent to 24.

... and becomes the world’s second largest brewer. So the full headline should have read. The long wait is over. What pundits have known for weeks, has finally been confirmed. At the end of May Miller’s parent company, cigarette-maker Philip Morris Cos. or Altrai as the company is called these days, agreed to sell its brewing operation for US$5.6 billion.
This is the first time, the self-professed emerging markets specialist SAB has bought into a First World market. While SAB has spent US$2 billion in the past two years on takeovers that have increased its sales by 20 per cent, the company’s expansion was in countries such as Poland, India, China and Honduras where beer consumption has been on the increase.5 times EV/EBITDA. In the end, SAB paid US$600 million more.0x.6 per cent....

... is to have a case of beer delivered to your doorstep with the label sporting a photograph of yours truly in her birthday suit. Well, it can be done. But there is a catch. You have to live in Ontario, Canada. And, sorry, you cannot have that photograph of her mooning everybody. Canada’s brewer Labatt will not accept any pictures which depict nudity, minors or motor vehicles. Labatt will personalise a case of 24 bottles of Labatt Blue or Labatt Blue Light with your favourite photograph of birthdays, weddings, graduations and stags and deliver it in Ontario within seven business days. The vanity label campaign has been running since March 2002 to great acclaim. However, the vanity brewskies won’t come cheap. A case will set you back C$45.95 plus postage and handling.75. beer..

Molson lnc.’s fourth-quarter profit rose 82 per cent because of lower costs, higher beer sales and a change in accounting practices. Net income in the period ended 31 March 2002 rose to C$33.6 million (US$21.5 million), or 27 cents a share, from the year-earlier C$18.5 million, or 15 cents. Sales rose 12 per cent to C$619 million from C$552 million.
Molson’s Canadian sales were up 1.5 per cent, slightly higher than the national industry average of 1.4 per cent. The brewer increased its share of the market by 0.1 percentage point to 45.3 per cent, following a 0.2 point gain in the third quarter. In the U.S., sales climbed 1.3 per cent..