Grupo Modelo has plumped for Molson Coors in Japan and the UK

Grupo Modelo has plumped for Molson Coors in Japan and the UK

Grupo Modelo has secured a distribution deal for its beer brands in the UK and Japan with Molson Coors.

The two brewers confirmed early this morning (7 October) that they have agreed on key terms that will make Molson Coors the distributor of Modelo's beers, including Corona Extra in the UK and Channel Islands, and Japan. The partnership, which will be seen as a major slap in the face to Anheuser-Busch InBev, will take effect from January.

Earlier this week, Wells & Young's confirmed that it would lose Modelo's beers in the UK at the beginning of next year. The UK brewer had handled the brands for 15 years.

Molson Coors will be responsible for importing, selling and marketing the Modelo brands across the two countries. The brewers already work together in Canada.

Anheuser-Busch InBev was widely expected to pick up the distribution, seeing as the brewer owns a 50% non-controlling stake in the Mexican firm.

A-B InBev has struggled to get Modelo onside since InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch, which held the Modelo stake, in 2008. The Mexican firm has openly moved to shake itself free of A-B InBev, to no avail, ever since.

“We are pleased to be extending our relationship with Molson Coors into the UK and Japan," said José Parés, vice-president, chief sales and marketing officer for Modelo. "Modelo and Molson Coors are two major beer groups with complementary brand portfolios.

"This new partnership will allow us to collaborate in offering our consumers a wide range of products to satisfy different needs at different moments.”