Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. becomes world’s third largest brewery

staff photo
Cold, frothy beer. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cold, frothy beer. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Molson Coors Brewing Co. completed a $12 billion deal that makes the Denver-based brewer the largest beer seller in America and third largest in the world.

Molson Coors announced Tuesday that it successfully bought SABMiller’s 58 percent stake in the company MillerCoors, the joint venture of Molson Coors and SABMiller created in 2008.

The deal allows SABMiller to merge with Anheuser-Busch Inbev and makes it easier for Molson Coors to pursue being the first choice for beer drinkers.

MillerCoors controls Coors Banquet, Blue Moon and other beer brands.

Earlier this year, the United States Justice Department said if SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch merge, the companies could not own or sell Coors or any other MillerCoors brands in the U.S.

To allow the merger to continue, Molson Coors took over full rights to Coors Banquet, Blue Moon and all the other brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio. Molson Coors also can now sell and market the Miller brand portfolio outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Molson Coors has about 18,000 employees, 200 or so of which are located in Denver and another 1,400 in Golden, spokesman Colin Wheeler said.

MillerCoors will remain headquartered in Chicago and continue to operate as a separate business unit of the Molson Coors Brewing Co., according to a news release.

“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,” stated Mark Hunter, Molson Coors president and CEO, in the release.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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