Miller-Molson update

The Molson Companies' blockbuster announcement of its strategic alliance with Miller Brewing will not bring any short-term marketing change.But it could signal the Canadian beers' shift from an import to a competitor in the u.s. 'super premium' beer category.Freda Colbourne, a...

The Molson Companies’ blockbuster announcement of its strategic alliance with Miller Brewing will not bring any short-term marketing change.

But it could signal the Canadian beers’ shift from an import to a competitor in the u.s. ‘super premium’ beer category.

Freda Colbourne, a spokeswoman for Molson in Toronto, says the same team that markets Molson beer in the u.s. will remain in place.

Colbourne says the success of this team was one of the things that attracted Miller to Molson in the first place, adding some Miller employees will move from headquarters in Milwaukee to Molson USA headquarters in Reston, Va.

At a news conference in Toronto Jan. 14 to announce the alliance, Marshall Cohen, president and chief executive officer of the Molson Companies said Miller will acquire the u.s. marketing and distribution rights for Molson brands with a view to improving Molson’s sales to national brand status in that country.

Cohen said Miller will also acquire Molson Breweries USA and and pay an undisclosed royalty on sales. He said Miller will acquire from The Molson Companies and Foster’s Brewing Group 10% of each one’s share of Molson Breweries.

The Molson Companies and Foster’s Brewing Group are joint partners of Molson Breweries.

The Molson Companies will receive C$180 million for its part of the sale.

Cohen said he expects the deal, subject to regulatory requirements, to be completed in late March or early April.

Colbourne says the four Canadian-brewed brands selected to spearhead the drive into the American market – Golden, Molson Light, Special Dry and Foster’s Lager – could be positioned in the ‘super premium’ category. DC