The Anheuser-Busch wholesaler for St. Louis County has completed an acquisition of a Belleville-based A-B distributor, and says most of the local employees will keep their jobs.
On Monday, Grey Eagle Distributors announced that it had officially completed its purchased of Illinois Distributing Company. The acquisition was initially announced in September.
Grey Eagle spokesman Paul Byrne said approximately 90 percent of Illinois Distributing's 85 full- and part-time employees will be retained under the new ownership, but he could not specify how many workers would be losing their jobs.
The deal includes Illinois Distributing's assets and sales territory, which includes most of St. Clair County, Monroe County, Collinsville and Granite City. Grey Eagle will immediately begin selling beer to retailers in the new territory.
According to Grey Eagle, Illinois Distributing sold approximately 2.6 million cases of beer each year. The new owner plans to keep Illinois Distributing Company's operations in Belleville.
The Belleville distributor had been owned and operated by the Joynt family since Tony Joynt Sr. purchased the company in 1948.
Grey Eagle's distributing president and chief executive officer, David Stokes, could not be reached for comment Monday. In a statement released Monday by Grey Eagle, Stokes said acquiring Illinois Distributing Company is a big milestone for Grey Eagle. He also praised the Joynt family for its 64 years of business.
"The Joynts have always been great ambassadors for Anheuser-Busch brands," Stokes said. "We look forward to carrying on the great business they've established and continuing their commitment to the local community."
This is the latest in a series of expansions for the St. Louis distributor. In February 2011, Grey Eagle acquired the brand distribution rights for Stella Artois and Beck's. In January 2011, the company acquired Missouri Eagle LLC in Washington, Mo., to expand its distribution territory.
Illinois Distributing is the largest beer retailer in Illinois south of the Chicago area. The company spent about $14 million in 2001 to build a 166,000-square-foot warehouse and office building on Illinois 15 near the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. The building was more than triple the size of the one it replaced.
In 2006, Illinois Distributing purchased Koerber Distributing, of Waterloo, which had been in business since prohibition ended in 1933, and absorbed its operations.
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 239-2526.