Beasley firm sold

Beasley firm sold

April 21st, 2009 by Brian Lazenby in Business

Clarksville-based Hand Family of Tennessee purchased its fifth Anheuser-Busch distributor Monday when it finalized the buyout of Beasley Distributing in Soddy-Daisy.

J.R. Hand, president, said the name would soon change to Budweiser of Chattanooga. He said distribution schedules throughout Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, Rhea and Sequatchie counties will be unaffected by the acquisition.

Staff Photo by David Banks Billy Cranmore, a warehousee workeer at Beasley Distributing, loads up wooden pallets with beer to be forklifted into trucks for distribution at the Beasley Distributing Company Monday evening.

"As far as our customers go, it will be seamless," he said.

Mr. Hand said officials eliminated a few positions that were redundant with positions that already existed at Hand Family of Tennessee. He said that for the most part the company will utilize the existing work force.

According to records, Beasley Distributing has about 85 employees at its 200 Shearer St. warehouse in Soddy-Daisy.

Mr. Hand said the company also owns Anheuser-Busch distributing companies in Clarksville and Cookeville in Tennessee and in Hopkinsville and Owensboro, Ky.

Riche Foge, president of the Tennessee Malt Beverage Association, said consolidating beer companies has been a trend primarily with brewers.

"We've seen consolidation going on for some time now, particularly at the brewer level," he said. "Its just the economies of scale that are driving this."

Mr. Foge pointed to a $52 billion deal in which the Brussels-based Inbev purchased Anheiser-Busch last year. Also, Coors and Miller combined forces in 2007 in a cost-savings measure that officials hope will help them combat Anheuser-Busch, the industry leader.

Mr. Hand said his company is not expecting any more purchases right away, but is always on the lookout for opportunities.

The five Budweiser distributors owned by Hand Family of Tennessee distributes about 10 million cases a year. About 2.5 million of those come from the Soddy-Daisy plant.

Mr. Forge said that the consolidation benefits brewers, who prefer to deal with fewer distributors.

Robert H. and Mirriam P. Beasley founded Beasley Distributing in 1961, and it remained in the Beasley family until Monday's sale. The sales price was not disclosed.

Mr. Hand said Hand Family of Tennessee, which does business as Budweiser of Clarksville, Cookeville, Chattanooga, Hopkinsville & Owensboro, was formed by his grandfather in 1949.

The company acquired its first Budweiser distributor in 1956, he said.