Pabst Brewing Co. will be acquired by the Russian company Oasis Beverages, in a deal estimated to be worth between $700 and $750 million.
Pabst is an American brewer that has been operating for more than 170 years. The acquisition represents an iconic U.S. brand moving to Russia.
Metropoulos & Co. will be selling off Pabst after acquiring the brand for $250 million four years ago. The company also brews Schlitz and Old Style beers.
A minority stake of Pabst will be acquired by the private-equity firm, TSG Consumer Partners LLC, as part of the transaction.
Oasis Beverages was founded in 2008 and is based in Russia, with operations in Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. It produces energy drinks, beers, juices, and imports beverages such as Heineken, Perrier, and Chimay.
The acquisition means that the iconic American brand, Pabst Blue Ribbon, will now be owned by a Russian company during a period of political unsettlement between the US and Russia.
Both the US and Europe have imposed sanctions against Russia because of its involvement in the Crimea region of the Ukraine – supporting separatists. In retaliation Russia has imposed its own sanctions against American companies such as Exxon Mobil and McDonald’s.
Despite the tension between the two countries, the deal is not predicted to meet resistance by governments from either side.
Gene Grabowski, senior strategist at Levick Strategic Communications in Washington, said:
“Putin has every incentive to make sure there are no roadblocks to the deal”
“On a global stage, it looks like business remains robust in Russia and you can do business there.”