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LONDON -- Philip Morris Cos., the number-one cigarette maker, is in talks to sell a controlling interest in its Miller Brewing business to South African Breweries Plc, the Sunday (London) Telegraph newspaper reported.
Philip Morris has hired Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein to find a buyer for Miller, which is worth about $6 billion. A purchase by South African Breweries would create the world's second-largest brewer. Belgium-based Interbrew SA and other European beer makers may make offers for Miller, the newspaper said.
Philip Morris reportedly would like to retain some interest in Miller but probably no more than 20 percent, the newspaper said. Spokesmen for South African Breweries, based in Woking, England, and Dresdner declined to comment to the Telegraph.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Miller makes brands including Miller, Miller Lite, Milwaukee's Best and Red Dog.