Molson Inc and Adolph Coors Company have finally completed the transaction that will see them merge to become the world's fifth largest brewer.

"Molson Coors Brewing Company is a new global brewing company with the operating scale and balance sheet strength to be a major player in the continuing consolidation of the brewing industry," the two groups said in a statement.

Despite opposition from some shareholder groups, particularly on the Molson side, shareholders from the two brewer approved the combination at their special shareholder meetings held at the end of January and beginning of February.

The Quebec Superior Court approved the transaction as required by Canadian law on 2 February.

W. Leo Kiely III, chief executive officer of Molson Coors Brewing Company said: "By combining Molson and Coors, we have created a company with the market and financial strength necessary to drive organic growth and compete more effectively in today's increasingly challenging global market, while preserving the rich heritages of two of the world's most prominent brewing companies. We look forward to drawing on this brewing heritage and the combined strengths of a world-class management team to deliver greater value to our customers, partners, employees and shareholders."

"This transaction marks a new and important chapter in the history of both companies," said Eric H. Molson, chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company. "It leverages successful business relationships and builds on the strategic and cultural fit between our two companies. With an impressive track record in brewing excellence, the new Molson Coors Brewing Company will be a dynamic and competitive organisation that will create long-term value for our shareholders and the communities in which we operate."