Scottish & Newcastle is to close its Reading brewery with the loss of 362 jobs.
The Foster’s and Kronenbourg maker, which is in the process of being bought by European rivals Heineken and Carlsberg for £7.8 billion, said the site would close by early 2010.
The closure of the site was the “most viable option going forward” and would save the brewer around £13 million a year, Scottish & Newcastle said.
The brewer has also shut breweries at Newcastle and Fountainbridge in Edinburgh during recent years to cut costs. In November, the company announced its decision to shut a bottling plant at the Reading site, costing around 250 jobs.
“The nature of the Reading site, the amount of investment required to make it competitive and its relative cost compared with other UK facilities means that there is a strong business case for closure,” said operations director Stephen Glancey. “We will, of course, do all we can to mitigate the effects of the closure on the people affected.”