Guinness UDV North America Inc., the North American arm of British drinks giant Diageo Plc on Monday said it bought a Lehigh Valley plant from Pabst Brewing, which will help it meet demand for its strong-selling Smirnoff Ice malt beverage.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but Guinness UDV said it will invest $15 million (17.03 million euros) to retrofit the plant so that production of Smirnoff Ice can begin in early 2002.
Smirnoff Ice has captured 1 per cent of the U.S. beer market since its late January national launch, Guinness UDV said earlier this month. The drink uses the popular Smirnoff name but contains no vodka.
Guinness UDV said that the deal will eventually create about 250 new jobs over the next three years and has a projected economic impact for the community of more than $10 million(11.35 million euros) annually.