Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Maloofs Sell NM Beer Distributorship

The basis of the family empire disappears! Now it's the Kings, the Palms, and a few other fickle ventures - not so dependable as beer!

I remember my Dad saying he once helped out Old Man Maloof (probably back in the 50's). My Dad stopped to assist him after he got a flat tire just south of Bernalillo, NM, on Highway 85. Old Man Maloof reached into his trunk and pulled out a case of Coors, and handed it to my Dad as a reward.

It's harder these days for a small guy to be of service to the big guys....:
Two weeks after folding the Monarchs, the Kings' owners have agreed to sell a New Mexico beer distributorship that's been the foundation of the family's business empire since 1937.

Joe and George Maloof said Monday the family is selling the Joe G. Maloof Co. beer distributing business for an undisclosed sum. The purchaser is a wholesaler in Wyoming.

The sale follows the recent shutdown of the Monarchs WNBA franchise and, earlier this year, payroll reductions throughout the Maloof organization. Joe Maloof and his mother, Colleen, have sold multimillion-dollar homes in the Los Angeles area in recent months.

But the Maloof brothers said the family isn't retrenching in the face of a weak economy. Instead, the Maloofs are "prioritizing our businesses" around the Kings and a few other enterprises, said Joe Maloof.

"We want to concentrate on our other businesses in Sacramento, L.A. and Las Vegas," said Maloof, who runs the Kings with his brother Gavin. Among other things, he sees great promise in the Maloof Money Cup, a 2-year-old skateboarding championship the family sponsors.

Despite the family's lengthy history with the distributorship, the family has fielded numerous offers for the beer company over the years. The sale "was a good deal for us, frankly," said George Maloof.

...The family also faces a tough economy in Las Vegas, where the value of its Palms Casino Resort has fallen from $386 million to about $20 million in the past two years, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings by minority partner Station Casinos Inc. The Maloofs have said Station's figures woefully underestimate the true value of the Palms, which they say has held its own despite the rough economy.

...But Bellas said the Maloofs' company, which holds exclusive rights to distribute Coors products in New Mexico, has probably held up pretty well. He said the company's annual revenue is likely well more than $100 million.

The company's monopoly status has helped it weather the recession. "They were not (under) any pressure at all to sell," said Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of trade publication Beer Business Daily.

...Until the beer distributorship came along, the Maloof business consisted of a general store in Las Vegas, N.M., east of Santa Fe. In 1937, four years after the repeal of Prohibition, the family obtained one of the first Adolph Coors Co. distributorships outside of Colorado. A decade later, the family obtained the Coors franchise for the entire state and eventually started a trucking business to haul product from Coors' headquarters in Golden, Colo. In the 1960s, the family expanded into wine and hard liquor.

Despite this history, Joe Maloof said the family's ties to the distributorship had waned in the past decade.

"We haven't been back to the state in many years," he said. "Since we bought the Kings, we haven't really been involved in the beer business." The Maloofs became majority owners of the Kings in 1999.

He said it isn't unusual for the Maloofs to sell off a business. The family once owned 10 hotels and an Albuquerque bank.

"We've been in business for a long time," said George Maloof, who runs the Palms. "We buy and sell businesses."

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