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Redhook, Widmer combining

Wed., Nov. 14, 2007

Redhook Ale Brewery Inc. said Tuesday it is combining with privately held Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. to create one of the nation’s largest specialty brewers.

The all-stock transaction will result in Widmer shareholders and Redhook shareholders each holding about 50 percent of the outstanding shares in the combined company, which will be called Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. and trade under Redhook’s stock symbol, “HOOK.”

Each Widmer share will be converted into the right to receive 2.1551 shares of publicly traded Redhook common stock, Redhook said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Anheuser-Busch Cos. has held a minority stake in both companies and will have one in the combined company.

Widmer, based in Portland, and Redhook, based in Woodinville, Wash., have worked collaboratively for years with a brewing and licensing relationship in the eastern U.S. They also operated a joint sales and marketing operation called the Craft Brands Alliance.

In 2006, Widmer was the 11th largest brewer in the U.S. based on sales, and Redhook was the 12th largest, according to the association’s rankings.

Their beers will remain separate brands.

The companies said they expect to benefit from their combined brewing experience, distribution service and other benefits of size.

Faced with the threat of losing more classified ads to online competitors, some newspaper publishers are looking to a Web real-estate information company to help them stay in the game. said Tuesday that 11 publishers, including Hearst Corp., which owns the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and MediaNews Group Inc., which owns the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, have forged an advertising partnership.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

On Zillow, based in Seattle, Web surfers can list their home for sale or see what it might sell for, and they can ask owners or neighbors for more information about houses on the market.

The 282 newspapers involved in the deal can incorporate some of Zillow’s content and features into their own sites.

Zillow was the fifth-most-visited real estate site in the U.S. in October, according to data from Nielsen Online., the site of the National Association of Realtors, got the most traffic, followed by sites operated by Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.


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