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Beer companies settle contentious business litigation

Times are tough for everyone as many individuals and businesses here in Illinois can attest. A leaner economy appears to be behind some contentious business litigation between MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Company. The matter recently went to trial, but instead of waiting for a verdict, the two companies recently reached a settlement.

Pabst uses Miller facilities to brew several of its most popular beers. The current contract between the parties expires in 2020, and the Pabst wanted to go ahead and exercise its option to extend the arrangement until 2030. The only problem was that Miller said it did not have the facilities available to handle the capacity from Pabst any longer.

Miller already closed one brewing facility and contemplated closing a second one. The company said that it would not make enough money brewing for Pabst at $17 per barrel, which translates to more than $70 million per year. Instead, it wanted to charge $42 per barrel. Pabst filed suit alleging that price and not renewing the contract would cause the 174-year-old company to have to close its doors. The details of the settlement were not released, but the parties appear satisfied with their agreement.

Many Illinois businesses facing business litigation may not make it through the trial phase before deciding to enter into a settlement agreement. Fortunately, you can do so even after testimony has begun and at pretty much any stage of the litigation. What this means for most businesses is that a lawsuit can help protect all applicable rights and provide the framework for resolving ongoing disputes.

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