By Andy Young
Molson Coors has confirmed it will buy SABMiller's 58 per cent stake in MillerCoors, taking full ownership of the joint venture.
The move comes after AB InBev's acquisition of SABMiller was accepted. The buyout is valued at US$12 billion, and is conditioned upon the closing of AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller, which is expected in the second half of 2016.
Under the agreement, Molson Coors will also acquire full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside of the US and retain the rights to all of the brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio for the US market, including Redd’s and import brands such as Peroni and Pilsner Urquell.
Mark Hunter, president and chief executive officer of Molson Coors said: “This transaction is a game-changing opportunity for Molson Coors and advances our ambition to be the first choice for consumers and customers. MillerCoors is a business we know very well – its strategy, culture, brands and people – and we look forward to meeting and exceeding the needs of our valued distributor partners and consumers across the US.
"In consolidating ownership of MillerCoors, we will strengthen our presence in the highly attractive US beer market, further improve our global scale and agility, benefit from significantly enhanced cash flows, and capture substantial operational synergies. Furthermore, the acquisition of the Miller brand rights globally will help accelerate Molson Coors’ growth strategy by strengthening our international beer portfolio with a powerful and authentic American brand, as well as expand our presence in high-growth markets.
"In short, we will be a more competitive global company, better positioned to invest behind our core brands, expand our above premium portfolio, strengthen our commercial execution capabilities and deliver long term shareholder value.”
Carlos Brito, chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, “Our combination with SABMiller is about creating the first truly global beer company and bringing more choices to beer drinkers in markets outside of the US. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Molson Coors to divest SABMiller’s US assets. We will continue to proactively address any regulatory concerns regarding our combination with SABMiller in other relevant markets.”
As well as being conditional on the successful completion of the AB InBev and SABMiller deal, this buyout will also be subject the customary regulatory approvals in the US.