Molson Inc. today announced it has reached an agreement in principle with the Miller Brewing Company and the Foster's Brewing Group to repurchase 100% of the Molson brands in the United States. This historical initiative will return control to Molson of its brands in the world's largest import market. The transaction is for a total cash consideration of US $133 million and is expected to close by year-end.

"By reacquiring our brands, we are taking control of one of our major growth opportunities - the US market," said Daniel J. O'Neill, Molson President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have worked very hard over the last twelve months to better understand the business and to define the going forward strategy in the United States. Regaining our strong position in the United States market is the required first step to future profitable growth outside of Canada. Now it is time to move to the execution phase and exploit this new opportunity for creating shareholder value."

Blair Shier, who was recently given the responsibility for the US business, added, "Molson's relationship with our distributors is critical and there are no plans to change our present relationships. The distributor network is key to our success and we will be counting on them for their continued support in the future."

The United States import segment is the fastest growing in the beer category with annual compounded growth of more than 11% over the last five years. No other segment has grown as fast. To ensure success, Molson will have a dedicated business unit clearly focused on the Molson brands with a well- defined portfolio and clear operating objectives consistent with the EVA environment of the Company.

In addition to regaining ownership of its brands in the United States, Molson has re-established long-standing relationships with both Miller and Foster's for Canada as well as confirmed a long-term production agreement of Foster's for export to the US.

The transaction reflects Molson's commitment to deliver future growth value while at the same time driving down cost and improving operating profit to over 12% annually. Following on the promise to "reinvent" itself as a global brewer, Molson achieved a number of clearly defined goals with the aim of becoming a more efficient and competitive operating company, while creating sustainable shareholder value in the process. The four-fold foundation for the reinvention remains: aligning the interests of employees and shareholders, reducing the cost base, establishing strategic direction and profitable growth.

Montreal-based Molson (TSE: MOL.A) is Canada's pre-eminent brewer with more than $2 billion in annual sales. Founded in 1786, Molson is North America's oldest beer brand and a global brand name with products that include Molson Canadian, Molson Export, Molson Dry and Rickard's Red.