Molson Coors is reviewing its Brazilian operations, and will submit options to the board later this year, executives said yesterday (2 March). Speaking to analysts in New York, Molson Coors' chief executive Leo Kiely said that the company has received calls from potential strategic partners since Molson and Coors completed their merger last month.

"Making the right choice in Brazil is critically important to this company and our shareholders," Kiely said. Recent sales trends appear to be flat, but that is an improvement from an 8% drop in volume last year, executives said.

In 2002, Molson spent almost US$830m for majority control of the Brazilian brewer Cervejarias Kaiser Brasil SA, but it has had trouble capitalising on Brazil's growing population and growing per capita beer consumption.

Kiely said that, in Brazil, the company would be focused on growing the Kaiser brand, turning around its core market of Sao Paolo, working on its distribution system, stemming the cash drain, and evaluating long-term profitability and growth potential.

It is expected that the board of directors will be presented with a rnage of options in May or June.