Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller PLC today agreed to combine their US operations and form beer behemoth MillerCoors, which could dent the traditional dominance of Anheuser-Busch. The Budweiser manufacturer—which controls almost 50% of the US beer market, compared with Miller’s 20% and Coors’ 11%—may feel pressured to seek its own merger, the Wall Street Journal says.
Anheuser-Busch would likely target foreign firms to diversify beyond the tight US market, which has been losing market share in recent years to spirit companies and smaller craft breweries. Coors’ CEO said the joint venture would take “full advantage of consumers' demand for imported and craft brands,” while supporting their flagship products. The deal should close in mid-2008.