SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company have been given the go-ahead to proceed with their US joint venture by the US Department of Justice.

The two companies said today (6 June) that they expect the MillerCoors transaction to generate approximately US$500m in annual cost synergies to be delivered in full by the third full financial year of combined operations.

Graham Mackay, SABMiller's chief executive, said: "Today's news underscores our strong belief that this combination will not only generate significant growth and cost synergies, but will also create tremendous opportunities for innovations in products and services that will greatly benefit America's beer distributors, retailers and consumers."

The Miller and Coors businesses will continue to be operated separately until completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur around the end of this month.

Leo Kiely, CEO of Molson Coors, added: "While we recognise that regulatory clearance is just one step in creating a dynamic US competitor, it is a critical milestone, and we're obviously very happy about the outcome. We're actively engaged in the various planning elements and are ready to get out of the gate smoothly and quickly upon close."