Snoop Dogg will face off against beloved crusty beermaker Pabst Brewing Company on Halloween. A trail alleging that the company owes Tha Dogg money in relation to the company being sold in the fall of 2014 is scheduled for later this year in Los Angeles.
You’ve no doubt seen the cardboard cut-outs of Snoop advertising Blast by Colt 45, a fruit-flavored malt liquor owned by Pabst. Part of Snoop’s contract to hawk the drink included a clause that entitled him to 10 percent of the price realized [for the Colt 45 brand] by the stockholders of Pabst in connection with the sale” of the company. Snoop filed suit in June saying that he had not received his share of the sale.
Pabst countered that their was no sale and that the stock merely changed hands. They filed a demurrer and a motion to dismiss. The demurrer was overruled and the motion dismissed by Judge Malcom H. Mackey, leading to the trail being set for October 31.
“Plaintiffs have alleged all of the elements necessary to sustain a cause of action for breach of contract regarding the Consulting Agreement. Under Illinois law, the sale of an entire company necessarily includes a sale of its assets,” Mackey wrote. “Pabst takes the self-serving position that a sale of the entire Pabst company is not a sale of the Colt 45 brand family, and therefore Broadus is not owed anything.”
Snoop’s lawyer Alex Weingarten claims that the sale was intentionally structured to deny Snoop a cut. He points to an email that Pabst General Counsel Jim Vieceli wrote regarding the sale.
“In our final negotiations of the SPA, I’m sure you’ll recall that we have 2 indemnities related to the Snoop contract and Colt 45. One of those relates to a potential brand sale of Colt 45. If possible, we would like to amend the SPA to provide that the Colt 45 brand or brand family would not be sold by the buyer prior to March 31, 2016. This would get us outside the window of time in which a brand sale could trigger a payment to Snoop. It was an oversight on our part to not request this at the time.”
Pabst’s lawyers still deny that anything is owed to Snoop as they say the Colt 45 brand still belongs to Pabst.
We are confident that once that agreement – which proves that Pabst still owns the Colt 45 brands and thus owes no payment to Snoop – is received in evidence, the case will be over,” said Pabst’s attorney Richard B. Kendall.