One of Portland's most iconic and politically combative companies has been sold.

Portland Bottling Co. has long been one of the city's most recognizable businesses, using about 47 million gallons a year to mix and bottle soda pop and energy drinks. A giant 7-Up bottle, since repainted, has stood for more than 70 years as an icon among the blue-collar businesses along Northeast Sandy Boulevard.

The business was sold today following the death of its majority owner, the former timber baron Harry Merlo.

Merlo controlled the nearly 100-year-old Portland company for the last 14 years. During that time, Portland Bottling Company backed the failed ballot measure in 2014 to wrest control Portland's water away from the Water Bureau, donating more than $100,000 to the effort.

The new owner is also a local beverage titan.

Ed Maletis, a former beer distributor, completed purchase of the company today through his family company, Limnes Bottling Acquisition Company. The Maletis family also owns Oregon Fruit Products and HealthCo Information Systems.

A press release announcing the sale says that all 90 employees at the Northeast Couch Street bottling plant will keep their jobs.