SABMiller shows interest in acquiring Coors

SABMiller shows interest in acquiring Coors

SABMiller shows interest in acquiring Coors

SABMiller PLC, owner of US number two brewer Miller Brewing, has given a clear signal it could be interested in a tie-up with US rival Coors Brewing.

Norman Adami, president of SABMiller's Americas division, told an investor presentation this morning that the group sees synergies in a potential tie-up with Coors, which merged with Canada's Molson to become Molson Coors in early 2005.

Adami said SABMiller would do 'everything reasonable' to improve its position in the US, including potential acquisitions, but declined to comment on the likelihood of a deal for Coors.

'Should they make themselves available ... clearly we would look at everything out there,' he said.

He added: 'Coors is a great company with a great portfolio and a great management team.'

Miller Brewing, which has struggled recently in the US in the face of rising input costs and downward pricing pressure, has around 18 pct of the US beer market, while Coors has some 12 pct. Any deal would still leave the group some way behind rival Anheuser-Busch however, which controls just over 50 pct of the market.

SABMiller has outlined plans to turn around the division's performance after it recorded a 17 pct decline in full-year EBITDA to 375 mln usd earlier this month.

Adami said the group is confident it can achieve low-single to mid-single digit growth for flagship Miller Lite as it looks to 'stoke' the brand and play up its low-carb credentials.

Miller president and CEO Tom Long added he expects the cost pressures to ease in the current year, after the group revealed a 100 mln usd disadvantage on Aluminium purchases compared with its rivals in full year 2007.

'We believe we are in a much better position to manage the cost structure this year than last year,' he said.

Long also indicated Miller's Project Unicorn cost saving plan, which focuses on manufacturing, asset care initiatives, procurement and freight, will deliver 120 mln usd in savings in full-years 2008-10.

'We're off to a good start and are confident we are going to deliver on savings targets,' he said.

Boutique executive search services with best in class global network, contacts and market mastery.

Deeply connected and engaged personal service approach, long-term investment in client community and 25 year history of strong relations with both Multi-National leaders and Private Equity partners.