MillerCoors begins merged operations today

SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company announced they have closed on the transaction to combine their U.S. and Puerto Rico operations to create MillerCoors. The new company will begin operating as a combined entity today.

"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.”

Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller, said, "Today is an historic day in the American beer business, not only for the shareholders of both SABMiller and Molson Coors, but for MillerCoors consumers, employees, distributors and business partners. Now that the transaction has closed and MillerCoors is a reality, the strong leadership team we have put in place is ready to execute and realize the tremendous potential of this great organization."

Leo Kiely, chief executive of MillerCoors, said, "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. 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. Our talented people are experienced and passionate about this business and – importantly – are determined to win.”

Some of those efficiencies will be reached, presumably, by cutting hundreds of administrative jobs. Miller has about 900 administrative jobs in Milwaukee.

MillerCoors has not yet announced where its combined headquarters will be. SABMiller is based in London, and its Miller Brewing Co. unit is based in Milwaukee. Molson Coors is based in Golden, Colo.

Pete Coors said earlier this year that the merged company’s headquarters will likely be in a neutral location.

The Denver Post reported that the cities being considered for the merged headquarters are Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Des Moines.

Miller spokesman Julian Green said a decision on the location of the merged headquarters will be announced "soon."

SABMiller and Molson Coors have each named five representatives to the MillerCoors board of directors, as follows:

  • Pete Coors, vice-chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company and chairman of the MillerCoors board.
  • Graham Mackay, CEO of SABMiller plc and vice-chairman of the MillerCoors board.
    Peter Swinburn, president and CEO of Molson Coors. 
  • Sam Walker, global chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Molson Coors.
    Stewart Glendinning, global chief financial officer of Molson Coors.
  • Dave Perkins, president, global brand and market development of Molson Coors.
    Malcolm Wyman, CFO of SABMiller plc.
  • Nick Fell, group marketing director of SABMiller plc.
  • Johann Nel, group human resources director of SABMiller plc
  • Sue Clark, corporate affairs director of SABMiller plc.

Based on results for Miller and Coors reported under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the year ended March 31, 2008, and U.S. GAAP for the four fiscal quarters ended March 30, 2008, respectively, MillerCoors’ annual pro forma combined beer sales were 70.1 million U.S. barrels, which is a 1.6-percent increase from the comparable pro forma period a year earlier.

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