Coors, Miller to combine U.S. operations

And then there were two.

The Big Three of American brewing with become the Big Two. Brewers Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller said today they will combine their U.S. operations in a joint venture.

The makers of Miller Lite, Original Coors and Coors Light said they will share ownership equally in the new venture, but because of the economic value of their respective units SABMiller will have a 58% economic interest to Molson Coors’s 42% interest. The deal is expected to close by the end of he year.

Miller is the second largest brewing company in America and Molson Coors the third, both well behind Anheuser-Busch. Even combined they will still be smaller than A-B.

SABMiller and Molson Coors said they expect the combined brand portfolio, scale and combined management strength of the joint venture will allow it to better compete in the U.S marketplace, improving the standalone operational and financial performance of both Miller and Coors.

“This transaction is driven by the profound changes in the U.S. alcohol beverage industry that are confronting both of our companies with new challenges,” said Molson Coors Vice Chairman Pete Coors.

“Consumers are broadening their tastes and are increasingly looking for greater choice and differentiation; wine and spirits companies are encroaching on traditional beer occasions, and global beer importers and craft brewers are both taking a larger share of volume and profit growth. Creating a stronger U.S. brewer will help us meet these challenges, compete more effectively and provide U.S. consumers with more choice, greater product availability and increased innovation. The Molson and Coors families are firmly in support of this strategic transaction.”

The press release.

7 Replies to “Coors, Miller to combine U.S. operations”

  1. No where did I see where the conglomerate say the would make a better beer…if bigger were better, dinosauers would still be alive and American Airlines would be the best airline in the world…but, alas….

  2. And this will make a difference to beer drinkers, how?

    Their flagship brands are both pretty bland.

    Would it be that through their combined forces, they start to brew GOOD beer that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    Instead of marketing the hell out of crappy beer.

    We can dream . . .

  3. It makes me wonder how Anheuser-Busch does it. They will still be bigger than #2 and #3 combined. Is it that way it is all over the world? By that I mean, is the most popular beer in Germany not really too good as well, and what about England?

    Anybody know?

  4. DavidCyrus,

    I was in Belgium (Brussels, Brugges and Ghent) this spring and the beer there was absolutely outstanding. Best in the world, according to many.

    But I also saw a lot of people drinking out of cans of Juliper, which isn’t even close to being as good as the traditional Belgian Beers.

    So maybe we’re not all that much different.

  5. Actually, corona isnt the “Mexican Beer” of choice its prob. Tecate..or modelo…FYI Coronas Demographic is actually a whit male..21/35 The joint venture is good for the dist…Cuts the polotics out of it..espcially when you dist. both mill/coors…if you dont like domestic beers thats fine but at least they notice the trend for micro-and-craft growth in the market…… cutting products, steam lining buisness and taking more money to market..for market, production of new beers,..advertising…so ya if ya dont like Miller or Coors fine but I will tell you in the Market I live in they both out sell AB… Who are only as big as they are is they just buy out all the little guys so there is no more stress on their shrinking Markert share…

  6. bruss has the right idea. but as i write, the cost of hops is, and has gone
    up.. everything is getting more expensive.. can’t understand why.. i
    will wait untill i hear the hoof beats of the four of the apocalyps (SP) till
    then,, pop a home brew….. jim.

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