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US: SABMiller, Molson Coors hit by anti-trust request

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SABMiller and Molson Coors have been hit with an anti-trust request for its joint venture in the US.

The two brewers, who last month announced the formation of MillerCoors, said today (20 November) that the anti-trust division of the US Department of Justice has put in a request for further information regarding the companies' proposed collaboration.

Subsequently, the waiting period of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 has been extended until 30 days after substantial compliance with the request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the companies or terminated sooner by the DOJ, the brewers said.

"The DOJ request for additional information is a normal and customary part of the regulatory review process," said Leo Kiely, Molson Coors' chief executive. "We are cooperating fully with the DOJ's review and will comply with the second request in a timely manner, and our goal remains to close the transaction by mid-2008."

The chief executive of SABMiller, Graham Mackay, added: "SABMiller and Molson Coors are still on track to reach final agreements by the end of 2007 and believe that the MillerCoors joint venture will create a stronger, brand-led US brewer with the scale, resources and distribution platform to compete more effectively in the increasingly competitive US marketplace."

Speaking to just-drinks, a spokesperson from SABMiller said: "The second request from the regulator in the states is totally and utterly customary. We were always going to get it. It's a standard procedure, so it was absolutely inevitable, which is why we have said we anticipate regulatory clearance into 2008."


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller, Molson Coors

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