December 21/London and Denver/Business Wire -- SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company announced that they have signed the definitive transaction agreement for the combination of the U.S. and Puerto Rico operations of their respective subsidiaries, Miller and Coors, into MillerCoors LLC, the joint venture that they announced on October 9, 2007.

Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller, said, "Today's announcement is an important step forward toward completing the MillerCoors joint venture, a combination that will ultimately allow us to better meet the needs of distributors, retailers and consumers in the U.S. marketplace by providing greater choice, product availability and increased innovation."

Leo Kiely, chief executive of Molson Coors, said, "This combination of our two highly complementary U.S. businesses creates a stronger brewer and allows us to better compete. We look forward to closing the deal in mid-2008 and are cooperating fully with the regulatory clearance process."

The closing of the transaction is subject to obtaining clearance from U.S. competition authorities, certain other regulatory clearances and any required third-party consents. The Miller business and the Coors business will continue to be conducted separately and in the ordinary course until completion of the transaction.

From the January 7, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash