G. Heileman files for bankruptcy reorganization

August 10, 1991

G. Heileman Brewing Co., saddled with $1.3 billion in debt, has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would give banks control of the nation's fifth-largest brewing concern.

The maker of local brews ranging from Baltimore's National Bohemian and Texas' Lone Star filed a reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York this week that would leave the company with $325 million in debt and leave its owner, a company founded by Australian tycoon Alan Bond, with a 3 percent ownership share.

Jerry Steinman, publisher of Beer Marketer's Insights, which tracks the brewing industry, described the reorganization plan as "a good deal for managers, attorneys and accountants."

Unsecured creditors, including suppliers and people holding about $250 million in "junk bonds," might lose a lot of money, Mr. Steinman said.

He said that some creditors won't support the plan because it's too optimistic.

Heileman's beer shipments declined 15 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Shipments dropped by 475,000 barrels, from nearly 3.2 million to 2.7 million.

One of Heileman's five remaining breweries is in Halethorpe in Baltimore County. It employs about 300 people.

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