Molson Coors Combines European Units

DENVER (AP) — Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Monday that it will combine its European businesses into a single unit.

The Denver-based company said Molson Coors Europe will combine its U.K. and Ireland business with its recently acquired businesses in Central Europe. The maker of Coors Light and Miller Light had acquired StarBev this summer to expand into central and eastern Europe.

Molson Coors spokesman Colin Wheeler said the company was not yet ready to say whether the consolidation would result in any layoffs.

StarBev makes Bergenbier, Ozusko and Borsodi beers and runs nine breweries, selling brands in in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia.

Molson Coors Europe will be based in Prague. It accounts for about 38 percent of the company's worldwide volume and 30 percent of sales revenue. The change is effective Jan. 1.

Mark Hunter, 49, who currently oversees the central European business, will be CEO of the new unit. Stewart Glendinning CEO of U.K. and Ireland, will head Molson Coors Canada upon the retirement of current CEO Dave Perkins at the end of January. Glendinning is 46 and Perkins is 58.

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