Anchor Brewing union employees say they're not getting fair chance to bid for company

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Saturday, July 29, 2023
Here's what's next for SF's Anchor Brewing Company
San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Company union employees say the company is not giving them a fair chance to bid on the historic brewery.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Anchor Brewing Company union employees say the company is not giving them a fair chance to bid on the historic brewery.

In a statement, Warehouse Union Local 6 ILWU which represents brewery employees, said Sapporo, which owns Anchor Brewing Company, is refusing to give them access to financial information, claiming it's too close to the date they would hand over control of their assets.

"The union desired to get information ahead of the liquidation process," said Anchor Brewing spokesperson Sam Singer. "That just wasn't possible. They asked at a very late moment. We want the union workers to bid on this brewery and its historic assets. We want others to bid on it, and whoever makes the best offer will wind up, either in whole or part, (with) all of the Anchor Brewing and its assets."

RELATED: SF's Anchor Brewing Company, country's 1st craft brewery, shutting down after 127 years

Singer said there are more than two dozen interested parties, including investors, prominent individuals and families in San Francisco and unionized employees who have expressed interest in bidding on the iconic brewery.

Singer said the liquidation process begins at the beginning of August.

"The historic Anchor Brewery, all of its assets, the property, the brand is all going to be up, essentially in an auction, where people, bidders like the union employees, like other investors, can step forward and make offers based upon information that they have about what they are willing to bid for the property, the brand, the assets," Singer said. "Anchor could be bought in whole and meaning they take the brewery, the brand, everything, the whole kit and caboodle, or it could be sold off in parts."

The union's statement said: "We are asking Sapporo to delay handing over control of their assets for one month, until September 2, 2023. Provide the financial information necessary to present a fair offer."

Singer said time is running out.

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"All the information that bidders will need is going to be available once the liquidator is in process, and at that point the unionized employees, as well as others, are going to be able to look at the books, essentially, as well as other assets, and make an evaluation for themselves as to what they would like to bid on Anchor Brewing," Singer said.

Singer said they hope the brewery lives on under someone else's management and ownership.

"Anchor feels very sadly that it came to this heartbreaking decision that it had to close the brewery because there just wasn't enough sales and the pandemic impacted it mightily," Singer said.

The last bottles of beer were brewed at Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco Thursday but the taps are open until Monday.

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