Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Major London plant could face closure

New beer giant could axe
historic Mortlake brewery

A-B InBev, the clumsy name of the recently merged Anheuser-Busch and InBev, could close its Stag Brewery in London as part of a restructuring programme. The brewery is based in Mortlake and was once the infamous head production unit of national brewing giant Watneys, best known for its Red Barrel keg beer.
The threat to the Mortlake site is the result of A-B InBev's confirmation that it is reviewing its British operations. One industry analyst says that InBev's $52 billion buyout of A-B has left the Belgian-Brazilian giant with significant over-capacity in Britain. The sale of the Mortlake plant could raise a substantial sum but its current value is hard to assess as a result of the property slump.
A-B InBev refused to be drawn on the future of the Stag Brewery but admitted it was in talks with a number of its employees. It's thought that the A-B sales and marketing teams are most at risk.
In the United States, the merged brewing group said it will cut 1,400 jobs -- 6% of its workforce -- to save $1.5 billion (£1 bn) a year. Threequarters of the cuts will be made at the A-B head office in St Louis, Missouri. But A-B Inbev pledged not to close any of the Anheuser-Busch plants in the U.S.


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