US: Redhook talks ongoing, says Widmer boss
Redhook Ale and Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. remain locked in talks over a potential merger between the two companies.
The two US craft brewers began discussions on a possible merger in January as they looked to join forces to better compete with larger brewers in the US.
However, Widmer co-founder Kurt Widmer has told just-drinks that negotiations are continuing but refused to go into the details of the discussions. "It is impossible to predict the form (of any agreement) or the time of the outcome," he said.
Redhook CEO Paul Shipman declined to comment when contacted by just-drinks.
A union would deepen the relationship between Redhook and Widmer, who together run Craft Brands Alliance, a sales and marketing venture in the western US. Redhook also brews the Widmer brand under licence for the eastern US.
The relationship between the two brewers has faltered somewhat in recent months. In November, Redhook pointed the finger at the Craft Brands venture for its falling sales in western US states and claimed the business had done a better job selling beers from the Widmer stable.
Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch owns a 34% stake in Redhook and 39.5% in Widmer. In January, A-B said it expected Redhook to be "the surviving company" after a deal between the craft brewers.
Meanwhile, Redhook has named its controller, treasurer and principal accounting officer as CFO. Jay T. Caldwell replaces David Mickelson, who will stay on as Redhook's president and chief operating officer.
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