Molson Coors to Close Denver Headquarters, Cut Jobs and Rebrand

The brewery plans to keep and modernize the Golden brewery

Following a dismal third quarter earnings report, Molson Coors Brewing Company announced that it would be "revitalizing" and rebranding as a beverage company, rather than a beer company. As part of the revitalization, the company is closing its Denver office and moving its headquarters to Chicago; cutting between 400 and 500 international jobs; renaming the company Molson Coors Beverage Co.; and modernizing the Golden brewery.

"Our business is at an inflection point. We can continue down the path we’ve been on for several years now, or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track,” said Gavin Hattersley, president and CEO of Molson Coors, to investors on the third quarter 2019 earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call. “Our revitalization plan is designed to streamline the company, move faster, and free up resources to invest in our brands and our capabilities. Through it, we will create a brighter future for Molson Coors.”

During the third quarter earnings call, the company reported a 3.2% decrease in revenue year-over-year, dropping to $2.84 billion.

Molson Coors isn't the only brewing company that has struggled with beer sales in recent years. According to Beverage Information Group, the entire beer industry has seen declining sales for five straight years as wine and liquor sales become more popular. 

Coors has a long history in the Colorado. It was first founded in the state in 1873 and now employees nearly 2,300 people in Colorado, nearly 300 of which work in the Denver office. According to a statement given by Molson Coors' spokesman Matt Hargarten to The Denver Post, many of the Denver office employees will be offered jobs and relocation packages to remain with the company.  However, though Molson Coors may be moving its headquarters from Denver, the company plans to keep its ties to the state intact, in large part by "modernizing" the iconic brewing facility in Golden. 

“For nearly 150 years we have brewed great beers in Colorado, and we will continue to brew great beers in Colorado for hundreds of years to come,” Hattersley said. “This investment will modernize the brewery to allow for more flexibility, enable us to move with pace and deliver new products to meet changing consumer preferences.

This modernization, which will require "several hundred million dollars" in investment, falls under just one portion of the company's five-part revitalization plan. This includes: investing in its "iconic brands;" aggressively growing its premium business; expanding into beverage markets outside of beer (the company has already begun this, launching both a canned wine and a hard coffee in 2019); increasing its investments in marketing and commercial capabilities; and streamlining processes to create a more effective organization.

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