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Molson Coors will sell Cervejarias Kaiser to Heineken in the near future, according to the head of Grupo Modelo. Speaking to reporters yesterday (25 October), Carlos Fernandez, Modelo's chief executive and chairman said that he believes Molson Coors will offload its Brazilian subsidiary to Heineken.

The Dutch brewer currently distributes its beer in Brazil through Kaiser, and is seen as the brand's most likely buyer together with Mexican beverage conglomerate Fomento Economico Mexicano, or Femsa, which distributes its beer in the US through Heineken, and sells Coors Light in Mexico for Molson Coors.

"Kaiser already has a deal I think with Heineken and probably Femsa. There's something cooking," Fernandez said.

Molson Coors bought Kaiser in 2002 for US$765m but the unit has proved problematic for the recently-merged North American company.

"We try to analyse many of the companies in the beer industry that go up for sale, but not all," Modelo's Fernandez said. "In the case of Kaiser, I consider that there's a beer group, in particular Heineken, that participates in the (company's) capital and has preferential rights in any transaction," he said.

"I assume that Molson Coors is working with this particular company because they haven't invited anyone else to participate," he added.

When approached by Dow Jones, a spokesperson for Molson Coors said: "We have always said we are looking at the alternatives, and when we are ready to communicate our decision on those we will announce it." Regarding the possibility of a sale to Heineken, the spokesperson said the company "won't comment on speculation."

Heineken was not immediately available for comment when contacted by just-drinks.com.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Heineken, Molson Coors

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