Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX) today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of StarBev for approximately €2.65 billion. Mark Hunter, the CEO of Molson Coors UK & Ireland business, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new business unit, which has been renamed Molson Coors Central Europe.
Molson Coors Central Europe employs approximately 4,100 people, operates nine breweries and sells its market-leading brands in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia. The acquisition includes Staropramen, the business unit’s flagship brand with sales in more than 30 countries worldwide.
“We are excited to complete this acquisition, which significantly enhances our growth profile and builds upon our portfolio of premium brands,” said Peter Swinburn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Molson Coors. “Since the initial announcement, we have spent considerable time in-market and engaging with the local teams. We are more excited than ever about the numerous opportunities we see in this business and in the region. Significant progress has been made in laying the foundation for a successful integration and we are confident we have the right team, experience and strategy to achieve our goals.”
Mark Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Molson Coors Central Europe, said, “I am delighted to take the helm of the Molson Coors Central Europe business, where I will be inheriting a strong operation with great brands and a high-performing team. We have a clear plan in place to build upon the strong profile of these great brands and capitalize on an attractive and growing beer market.”
Prior to his appointment as CEO of the UK & Ireland business in 2007, Hunter served as chief commercial officer for Molson Coors Canada where he was responsible for all sales and marketing activities. He worked in a number of senior roles since joining the brewing industry in 1989, including managing the export markets and business unit strategy for Bass Brewers and marketing management of the Carling brand. He also has served on the board of Bass Brewers as marketing director and on the board of Coors Brewers Ltd. Prior to 1989, Hunter held a variety of sales positions with Hallmark Cards and Bulmers Drinks.