SABMiller and Molson Coors launch MillerCoors

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st July 2008

SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company announced overnight that they have closed the transaction to combine their U.S. and Puerto Rico operations to create MillerCoors.MillerCoors, which will begin operating as a combined entity today, will be the second largest US brewer with the scale, resources and distribution platform to succeed in the highly competitive marketplace.

“As a unified company with a world-class board and leadership team in place, MillerCoors will be able to create tremendous opportunities for innovations in products and services that will allow us to drive profitable growth,” said Pete Coors, Chairman of MillerCoors. “Personally, I am thrilled to be part of such an exciting and innovative organization and look forward to serving as the Chairman of this new business.”

Leo Kiely, Chief Executive of MillerCoors, believes the combination will stimulate the US marketplace. “MillerCoors will be entrepreneurial, with the ability to operate with speed and agility in the marketplace, backed by the powerful combined resources of two exceptionally successful companies,” he said. “We will drive profitable growth and bring new energy to the U.S. beer industry. Our focus now is to deliver on the $500 million in identified annualized cost synergies by improving sourcing across our eight major breweries, building a streamlined organization and leveraging the scale of the new company.”

The deal, symbolic of the consolidation taking place in the beer industry, is likely to result in the two largest US brewers holding almost 80% of the market, with Anheuser-Busch, which is currently trying to stave off a takeover attempt by InBev, having almost a 50 per cent share and MillerCoors holding about 29 per cent.