DENVER (AP) -- Molson Coors Brewing Co. has signed an agreement to pay $40 million in cash for a majority, controlling interest in Hebei Si\'hai Beer Company in China, a move that lets Molson expand distribution of its flagship Coors Light brand.
The joint venture will have direct control over Si\'hai brewing operations, including contract business.
To be called Molson Coors Si\'hai Brewing Company, it will expand sales and distribution of brands such as Coors Light and of regional Si\'hai beers.
Molson said in a news release that the joint venture will help it save on costs and be more flexible in creating new products.
Coors Light entered China in 2003 and is now sold in more than 40 cities.
Molson Coors said it expects the new joint venture to be accretive.
The deal is to close by the end of the second quarter.
Hebei Si\'hai Beer Company, which was founded in 2003, is based in the city of Chengde.