Coors and Molson toast $3.4bn merger

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The Independent Online

Another round of consolidation in the beer industry appeared likely yesterday after two leading North American brewers, Coors of the US, which owns the British Carling brands, and Molson of Canada announced plans for a $3.4bn (£1.85bn) merger of equals.

Another round of consolidation in the beer industry appeared likely yesterday after two leading North American brewers, Coors of the US, which owns the British Carling brands, and Molson of Canada announced plans for a $3.4bn (£1.85bn) merger of equals.

If the stock-swap transaction wins approval of shareholders and government regulators in both countries, it would create a new brewing giant, better able to compete with its mostly larger rivals such as Miller and Anheuser-Busch in the US and Interbrew SA's Labatts Brewing in Canada.

The new company, to be called the Molson Coors Brewing Company, would rank fifth in the world in brewing volume. Peter H Coors, the chairman, said:"I am very proud to see the company started by my great-grandfather more than 130 years ago combine with a company of Molson's calibre." Similar sentiments were voiced by Eric Molson, the chairman of Molson. "This transaction allows us to create a stronger company in a consolidating global industry," he said.

Afeud in the Molson clan could yet make the deal go flat. Ian Molson, the company's former deputy chairman, was reported to be preparing a $4bn buyout offer for the company.

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