(Reuters) - Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N) is nearing a deal to buy the rest of its U.S. joint venture with SABMiller Plc SAB.L, as well as the rights to Miller brands internationally, for $12 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The person said the deal would be contingent on the closing of a proposed merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) and SABMiller that would create a company making almost a third of the world’s beer.
To win over regulators, the combination would almost certainly have to divest assets in the United States and other markets.
Molson Coors has been widely expected to make a bid for SABMiller’s 58 percent stake in the joint venture known as MillerCoors LLC. MillerCoors sells brands such as Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon in the United States.
The venture agreement gives Molson Coors the right to name new management in the event of a change in control and the right to make the first and last bid for the remaining stake, both of which could deter other potential bidders.
AB InBev and SABMiller declined to comment on the agreement, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Molson Coors’ shares were up 2 percent at $89.15.
Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru and Anjali Athavaley in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Christian Plumb