Molson Coors Buys European Brewer (TAP, BUD)

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North American brewing giant Molson Coors Brewing Co. (NYSE: TAP) has announced the acquisition of StarBev L.P., a Central and Eastern European brewer based in The Netherlands and the Czech Republic, for $3.54 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.

Molson Coors said that it will pay for StarBev with $3 billion in cash and debt and up to $667 million in convertible debt issued to the seller, private equity firm CVC Funds, which bought StarBev from Anheuser Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) in 2009. Molson Coors also expects the acquisition to boost earnings in its first full year of operation and plans approximately $50 million in operational savings by 2015.

Molson Coors’ shares are down a penny in the pre-market this morning, at $45.65 in a 52-week range of $37.99-$49.58.

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