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    FTC OKs Proposed Coors, Molson Merger

    Deal moves to shareholders for final approval.

    WASHINGTON -- The government has cleared the merger of family-run breweries Adolph Coors Co. and Canada's Molson Inc., sending the deal to shareholders for final approval, reported the Canadian Press.

    If approved, the two breweries would together become the third-largest beer maker in North America.

    The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that regulators suspended the 30-day waiting period for antitrust investigations and are allowing the transaction to move ahead. FTC spokesman Mitch Katz said no antitrust problems were found with the merger, so the full 30-day wait was not necessary.

    In announcing the merger deal in July, the companies said the new company will be known as Molson Coors Brewing Co. and will market such brands as Coors Original and Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Keystone and Carling.

    The deal would create a company with annual revenue of about $6 billion, putting it behind only Anheuser-Busch and SAB Miller as the largest beer company in North America.

    Golden, Colo.-based Coors is the third-biggest U.S. brewer, while Montreal-based Molson is neck-and-neck with Labatt Brewing as Canada's top beer maker.

    Molson has tentatively scheduled a shareholder vote for the week of Dec. 13 on its proposed combination with Coors.

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