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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pittsburgh Brewing President to Depart as Part of Reorganization Plan

Pittsburgh Brewing President Joseph R. Piccirilli, who gained control of the company during bankruptcy proceedings in 1995, will apparently lose his grip on the maker of Iron City beer as part of the protracted bankruptcy process now winding its way through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Bankruptcy Judge M. Bruce McCullough granted yet another extension to Pittsburgh Brewing, this time until Feb. 6, before it has to file its reorganization plan. Lawyers for the group headed by John N. Milne of Connecticut, who will become the new chief executive officer of the company if the plan is successful, have been lining up support for the plan from labor unions and creditors.

Milne told media at yesterday's hearing that Piccirilli will stay in place through a transition phase and then leave the company. Pittsburgh Brewing has been in bankruptcy since December 2005.

Media reports also noted brewery officials have been meeting with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's staff about aid to help the brewery get back on its feet. The Pennsylvania state budget is said to contain a $5 million line item to help fund the construction of a brewery building in Pittsburgh. Gov. Rendell would have to approve allocating the money to Pittsburgh Brewing.

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