The two North American brewers Molson and Adolph Coors have announced they are in merger talks, following press speculation to that end yesterday.

An announcement "could be made in the near future," they said, but they also warned the talks could break down at any time.

The terms being discussed include Eric Molson (currently Molson's chairman) becoming chairman of the board; Leo Kiely (currently Coors' CEO) becoming CEO; and Daniel J. O'Neill (currently Molson's president and CEO) becoming vice chairman, synergies and integration, of the combined company.

The parties said they do not intend to make any further comment prior to entering into a combination agreement or the termination of negotiations.

Combined, the two companies would boast a market capitalisation of US$6 bln.

However, analysts have met the announcement with a mixed reaction.

Some have pointed out that  the two beer companies would benefit from an increase in size. Others, though, are questioning whether two similar-sized companies with little to offer each other in new growth opportunities are a viable merger proposition.