PBR Is For Sale: But How Much Is It Worth?
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) How much is Pabst Blue Ribbon worth? When I was in college the going rate was about $1 on special and a little slice of personal dignity. (Although the latter was because of the hauntingly bad bar where we had to go to find beer that cheap.) Still, PBR is the little beer that could. Named after an award it may or may not have won back in the 19th century , the brand has become unexpectedly popular among students, hipsters and pretty much anyone else looking for beer cheaper than it is good.
Now it might be for sale. Reuters is reporting that C. Dean Metropoulos , owner of the brewery, may be looking to sell. The company which includes brands such as PBR, Schlitz and Old Milwaukee may, according to unnamed Reuters sources, be worth anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion. Since Metropoulos bought the brewing company in 2010 for $250 million, that's quite a payday even for a billionaire.
To put it in terms of my college bar's Thursday night specials, that's at least half a billion cans of Blue Ribbon.
Metropoulos, the same investor who swooped in and bought Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ding Dongs after the Hostess bankruptcy, has hired investment firm Perella Weinberg Partners to help manage the deal which sources say could also become an IPO instead of an outright sale.
As of publication, representatives from Pabst and Perella Weinberg Partners had not yet responded to requests for comment and seemed to be declining all media inquiries.
The big question surrounding this potential sale, beyond whether it will actually happen, is how much Pabst is actually worth. As one of the oldest brewing companies in America, the brewery distributes only a handful of well known products, and none more popular than the resurgent Pabst Blue Ribbon.
If nothing else, Pabst brings serious brand recognition to the table. Its beers have become synonymous with low cost, drinkable (if barely) brews incredibly popular among youthful Arcade Fire fans. Ironically, according to many reports, that newfound popularity has pushed its price up over the last ten years, causing the infamously inexpensive beer to get pricier at the bar.
It's still just about the cheapest thing you can order in any event.
Pabst has built its strong brand with committed, if not groundbreaking, sales. According to consulting firm Millward Brown, none of the company's beers breaks into the top 10 sold in America, a list dominated by Budweiser and Bud Light. A 2013 report placed it 16th in nationwide brands, just behind Bud Light Platinum and Natural ("Natty") Ice. That's not what the company is going for, though. Pabst shoots for loyal crowds of flannel clad college students drinking its iconic can during happy hour at the bar, then coming back next week to do it again.