DENVER and MONTREAL—Molson Coors Brewing Co. today acquired European brewer operator StarBev L.P. in a $3.54-billion (€2.65 billion) deal.
Starbev’s portfolio of brands includes Borsodi, Kamenitza, Bergenbier, Ozusko, Jelen and Niksicko. It also distributes Stella Artois, Beck’s, Hoegaarden, Lowenbrau and Leffe under license.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Prague, Czech Republic, StarBev runs nine breweries in Europe and posted $1 billion in sales for 2011 with an EBITDA of $322 million.
“The acquisition of StarBev fits squarely into Molson Coors’ strategy to increase our portfolio of premium brands and deepen our reach into growth markets around the world,” said Peter Swinburn, president and CEO of Molson Coors. “The Central and Eastern European beer market is attractive, with strong historical trends and upside potential as the region returns to its pre-economic-crisis growth rates.”
Swinburn said the deal gives key beer brand Carling a foothold in European markets while Staropramen—StarBev’s flagship—will help drive sales in new markets.
StarBev employs approximately 4,100 people and brews 13.3 million hectoliters annually in brewing operations in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Montenegro with strong markets share in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia.
The transaction is subject to approval by certain European competition authorities and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Following the close, StarBev will be operated as a separate business unit within Molson Coors and will remain headquartered in the Czech Republic.