Labatt Breweries of Canada and Carlsberg Breweries have agreed to end their brewing, marketing and distribution agreement for the Carlsberg brand in Canada, effective January 15, 2004. Labatt and Carlsberg entered into their current agreement in 1988.

"Our marketplace and respective priorities have changed a great deal since we established our agreement over two decades ago," said Labatt president Stewart Gilliland. "As a result, both parties determined the best decision was to seek new arrangements."

Carlsberg Breweries vice president, Søren Holm Jensen said: "We wish to thank Labatt for a long standing and mutually beneficial cooperation which has given the Carlsberg brand a solid position in the Canadian market."

The responsibility for the Carlsberg brand and marketing activities will be taken over by a newly established Toronto-based company Carlsberg Canada Ltd. and The Premium Beer Company, Toronto, is appointed Carlsberg's new sales and distribution agent. Moosehead Breweries, New Brunswick, will assume license brewing of Carlsberg beer for Canada, excl. Quebec. McAuslan Brewing Inc., Montreal, will assume license brewing and distribution of Carlsberg beer for Quebec.