Molson Coors Agrees to Buy Brewer StarBev for $3.5 Billion

on 03/04/12 at 10:26 am

Industry

Molson Coors Brewing Co., the U.S. maker of Carling lager, agreed to buy StarBev LP for 2.65 billion euros ($3.54 billion) to add beer brands such as Staropramen and provide a route into central and eastern Europe.

Committed financing is in place to complete the acquisition from private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and StarBev management, Denver-based Molson Coors said today. Production and purchasing efficiencies resulting from the deal will lead to pretax savings of about $50 million a year, the brewer said.

StarBev, headquartered in Amsterdam and Prague, operates nine breweries in Central and Eastern Europe. The acquisition will help meet the aim of Molson Coors to expand outside of the U.S., the world’s second-biggest beer market, as high unemployment and aggressive competition weigh on growth.

“StarBev, as a market leader in the CEE region, provides Molson Coors with a great platform for growth and an excellent foundation from which to extend our key brands, such as Carling, into Central and Eastern Europe,” Molson Coors’s President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Swinburn said today in a statement. The beer market in the region is “attractive, with strong historical trends and upside potential,” he said.

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