Molson Coors buys out Cobra Beer in JV deal with Bilimoria

UK's Molson Coors, one of the top brewers in the world by volume, has bought out Cobra Beer, in a joint venture deal with its NRI-founder Karan Bilimoria, Molson Coors said in a website release.

Molson Coors and Cobra Beer have set up a joint venture, Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd, and has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountant, as administrators.

Molson will get 50.1 per cent stake in the debt-free joint venture against a £14 million payoff to secured creditors of Cobra Beer that Lord Bilimoria tried to sell last year for around £200 million.

The joint venture, Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd, will own the world rights to Cobra - with the exception of the Indian sub-continent area – and will be managed by Molson Coors (UK).

The joint venture deal secures the future of the Cobra brand and its employees and ensures continuity of supply to customers, the release said.

Cobra founder Lord Karan Bilimoria will chair the joint venture board made up primarily of Molson Coors executives. Adrian Davey, formerly MD of Molson Coors Off-trade, has been appointed managing director of Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd.