If all goes as planned, Miller will merge its operations with Golden, Colo.-based Coors Brewing Co. in 2008. But the companies have not yet decided whether the headquarters of the MillerCoors joint venture will be in Milwaukee, or in the Denver area.
“I didn’t get the sense that it’s winner-take-all,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who last week joined Gov. Jim Doyle in meeting with Coors executives to begin discussing how corporate functions might be split between the cities.
Executives from Miller and Coors are saying little about that process. They’re still crafting a definitive joint venture agreement, and are seeking approval from federal antitrust regulators.
Site selection consultants say most company executives typically look at similar factors when making relocation decisions. Not surprisingly, they focus on the costs of doing business. Those include differences between locations on taxes and employee costs, said Ron Pollina, who operates Pollina Corporate Real Estate Inc., of Park Ridge, Ill.
Executives at Miller and Coors also will likely consider so-called “quality of life” factors. Those include crime rates, school performance and housing costs.
Finally, there are intangibles, including the question of which company is the buyer and which is the seller. The buyer usually has more to say on relocation decisions, Pollina said.
People shouldn’t expect any one factor to influence the decision on where to locate a headquarters for MillerCoors, says site selection consultant Leslie Rubin, who operates Indianapolis-based Rubin Advisors Inc.
“There are so many pieces that come into play,” Rubin says.