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DENVER — Molson Coors Brewing Co. has dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's on its acquisition of SABMiller's 58-percent stake of MillerCoors LLC. MillerCoors was originally formed by Molson Coors and SABMiller in 2008 as a joint venture in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Molson Coors' latest move is a result of Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of SABMiller, which closed on Oct. 10, as CSNews Online previously reported. To ease antitrust concerns, SABMiller sold its stake in the joint venture with Molson Coors for $12 billion. This sale includes global rights to the Miller brand name and gives Molson Coors full control of operations.
As part of this transaction, Molson Coors also gains full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and retains the rights to all of the brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio for the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including Redd's and import brands such as Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell.
Molson Coors is now the third-largest global brewer by enterprise value and the sole owner of MillerCoors, which will continue to operate as a separate business unit of Molson Coors and retain its name and headquarters in Chicago.
Molson Coors' existing portfolio of premium brands includes Coors Light, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling, Staropramen, and Blue Moon. The brewer operates in Canada through Molson Coors Canada; in the U.S. through MillerCoors; across Europe through Molson Coors Europe; and outside these core markets through Molson Coors International.
"Today represents a historic moment in the evolution of Molson Coors as we emerge as the world's third-largest brewer by bringing together Molson Coors and MillerCoors into a bigger, better organization," said Mark Hunter, president and CEO of Molson Coors. "As one company with an expanded portfolio of iconic brands and a highly focused leadership team, we intend to leverage our increased scale, resources and combined commercial experience to accelerate our 'First Choice' agenda and deliver longterm shareholder value."
Having operated the MillerCoors joint venture since 2008, Hunter added: "We know the business well and have been working to ensure that today represents a seamless transition for our customers, partners, distributors and employees. It will really be business as usual, with an energized team that is playing to win and committed to setting the bar even higher for the future of our business."
Molson Coors was advised by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, McCarthy Tétrault, Perkins Coie LLP, and UBS Investment Bank.