UK: Coors completes Carling purchase
Adolph Coors Company (Coors) today announced that it has completed the purchase of the Carling business portion of Bass Brewers from Interbrew for £1.2 billion (US $1.7 billion).
In a statement Coors said that, at the request of the UK management team, it plans to call the UK business created through the transaction, Coors Brewers Limited.
The business includes the majority of the assets that previously made up Bass Brewers, including the Carling, Grolsch (via a joint venture with Grolsch N.V.), Worthington, and Caffrey's beer brands.
Coors Brewers is now the second-largest brewer in the UK and its largest brand, Carling lager, is the best-selling beer brand in the UK. Coors is financing the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and bank and public debt.
Peter H. Coors, chairman of Coors Brewing Company (CBC), said: "We're pleased to complete this transaction and welcome the Coors Brewers employees into the Coors family. The acquisition of this new business in the UK significantly increases the size of Coors Brewing Company and broadens and diversifies its revenue base, resulting in a stronger, more resilient combined company.
"We intend to leverage the strengths of both the Coors Brewing Company and Coors Brewers organisations to grow market share, profitability and cash flow," he added.
W. Leo Kiely, CBC president and CEO, said: "The acquisition of the UK business will substantially increase our operating cash flow, modestly improve cash earnings per share in the short term and significantly enhance earnings per share longer term.
"The Carling and Grolsch lager brands both have strong growth momentum and are gaining share in the UK. Also important, the strengths of our two companies are complementary, which should give us the ability to improve performance in both North America and the UK."
He added: "Now that we've completed the transaction, our priorities for the combined company this year will be to continue building sales momentum in the US and growing our new business in the UK, while making even more progress on increasing flexibility in our operations and reducing our costs per barrel throughout the company."
The company also announced the appointment of Peter M. R. Kendall as chief executive officer of Coors Brewers. Kendall will be responsible for all of Coors Brewing Company's business in the UK and Europe. He previously served as senior vice president and chief international officer at Coors Brewing Company.
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