The court case was scheduled to begin in Toronto this week

The court case was scheduled to begin in Toronto this week

Miller Brewing Company (MBC), SABMiller's Canadian unit, and Molson Coors have successfully delayed a court showdown between the two in a bid to reach a settlement. 

The case centres on MBC's attempt to cancel Molson Coors' contract to handle its brands, including Miller Genuine Draft, in Canada. However, in June, Molson obtained a temporary injunciton to block MBC ending the tie-up, after filing a lawsuit earlier in the year. 

Court proceeedings over the disputed agreement were due to begin in Toronto yesterday (9 December). However, MBC said, along with Molson Coors Canada it had “mutually sought and obtained an adjournment of the trial...in order to pursue settlement negotiations”.

MBC's statement added: “Miller Brewing Company remains confident in its position, but views the opportunity to discuss settlement as a positive development.” 

In a statement to just-drinks, Molson Coors said: “This is a matter before the courts, and we do not comment on pending litigation. We are hopeful that there will be a positive outcome and look forward to moving forward with our business upon the ruling.  Molson Coors Canada represents a number of great import brands and is proud of the success Miller brands have achieved in Canada under our stewardship for the past thirty years.”

The two companies currently operate the MillerCoors JV in the US. A five-year lock-up period, where each had agreed not to transfer their voting or economic interests in the JV, ended in July. 

To read an exclusive just-drinks comment piece on this situation, click here

Expert analysis

Beer - North America (NAFTA) Industry Guide

Beer - North America (NAFTA) Industry Guide

The NAFTA Beer industry profile provides top-line qualitative and quantitative summary information including: market share, retail market size (value and volume 2007-11, and forecast to 2016). The pro...read more