Megabrewers complete acquisition-spinoff deal

A-B InBev acquires SABMiller, Molson Coors buys remainder of MillerCoors


Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm

Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. today completed its $12 billion acquisition of London-based SABMiller plc’s 58 percent stake in MillerCoors LLC.

SABMiller and Molson Coors formed the MillerCoors joint venture in 2008 to combine their U.S. and Puerto Rico brewing operations.

As part of its buyout, Molson Coors will acquire the international Miller brand portfolio, which includes everything from Miller Lite to Peroni to Leinenkugel’s.

MillerCoors will remain a separate business unit headquartered in Chicago, and will maintain its significant brewing presence in Milwaukee.

Before the joint venture was formed, SABMiller’s U.S. operation, Miller Brewing, was based in Milwaukee. MillerCoors has about 1,200 employees and brews about 10 million barrels per year at its brewery in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley. It also brews Leinenkugel’s and specialty beer at its 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee.

Molson Coors has pledged a “seamless transition” for customers, partners, distributors and employees.

MillerCoors Milwaukee brewery
The MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee.

“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 long term shareholder value,” said Mark Hunter, president and chief executive officer of Molson Coors. “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 is now the world’s third-largest brewer, and the largest brewer based in the U.S.

Brussels-based Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, which last night completed its more than $100 billion acquisition of London-based SABMiller plc, has solidified its position as the world’s largest brewer. Second is Netherlands-based Heineken.

A-B InBev, which has been merged with SABMiller under the umbrella company Newbelco, has a global presence, with a host of international brands brewed around the world. The combined company expects to realize growth in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America.

“As a truly global brewer, we will be able to achieve more together than each of us could separately,” said Carlos Brito, CEO of A-B InBev. “We remain focused on delivering superior top-line growth and increasing shareholder value. Building on our strong heritage, passion for brewing and expanded brand portfolio, we are also committed to helping farmers, retailers, entrepreneurs and communities thrive. We are excited to work toward our dream: Bringing people together for a better world. Our ambition is to build a company to last – not just for a decade, but for the next 100 years.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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