CHICAGO — Beer giant Molson Coors announced Wednesday that it will cut up to 500 jobs and move its North American headquarters from Denver to Chicago as part of a plan to rescue the business from falling sales.
Molson Coors, whose U.S. business MillerCoors is already based in Chicago, said the consolidation will save $150 million annually and free up resources to invest in its brands and new products. It plans to expand beyond beer — this year it launched a hard coffee and canned wine — and bring innovations to market in as little as four months.
“Our business is at an inflection point,” said Gavin Hattersley, Molson Coors’ president and CEO since September, in a news release. “We can continue down the path we’ve been on for several years now, or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track.”
Some jobs in offices around the country will be centralized in Milwaukee, the company said.
Molson Coors, which has 17,500 employees globally, said the 400 to 500 job cuts will take place across its U.S., Canadian and international business units. The company is closing its Denver office. It is unclear how the Chicago office, which has 400 employees, will be affected.
“We won’t know an exact number until we are completely through the process and it would be premature to guess at this point,” said MillerCoors spokesman Marty Maloney.
The restructuring is expected to cost the company $120 million to $180 million in employee severance, relocation and other costs.
The company plans to spend “several hundred million dollars” to modernize its brewery in Golden, Colorado, and will invest heavily in the growing category of higher-end beer.
It also will change its name from Molson Coors Brewing Co. to Molson Coors Beverage Co., effective in January.
The company announced its revitalization plan as it reported third-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. Net sales fell 3.2% for the quarter, to $2.8 billion, driven by volume declines. It reported a loss of $402.8 million, or $1.86 a share.