NYSE-listed Molson Coors buys ‘Thunderbolt’ beer maker Mount Shivalik Breweries

NYSE-listed Molson Coors Brewing Company, the world's fifth-largest brewing firm, has acquired controlling stake in Punjab-based Mount Shivalik Breweries Ltd (MSBL), the maker of popular beer brand 'Thunderbolt’, as per a press release.

Financial terms of the deal, which has been routed through its wholly-owned subsidiary Molson Coors International (MCI), have not been disclosed. The deal, however, has already received required regulatory approvals.

As part of the transaction, the US-based company has acquired the entire brand portfolio of MSBL, including the beer brand 'Thunderbolt', along with direct control over brewing operations in Haryana and Punjab, as well as distribution for Thunderbolt in Bihar.

“With the added brewing capacity, increased distribution channels, as well as the passion and skill of MSBL employees, we believe the strategic benefits of this transaction are abundant and clear. We are also excited about the increased momentum the addition of Thunderbolt will bring to Molson Coors brand portfolio as we build our business in India,” Kandy Anand, president and CEO of MCI, said in the release.

MSBL has two breweries – one in Haryana with a capacity of 0.25 million hectolitres (HL) and another at Bankarpur, Punjab, with a capacity of 0.35 million HL. The company has a strong brand presence across northern states, including Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

The acquisition will help the US-based company expand its presence in northern markets, including Punjab and Haryana, Anand said.

“We are excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring for Molson Coors India. It is in line with our strategy to grow our regional brand portfolio,” Ravi Kaza, president, Molson Coors Cobra India, said.

Rajiv Bali, managing director of MSBL, will continue on the board of the company as chairman emeritus, while leadership team at MSBL will be led by Ravi Kaza. 

Molson Coors had forayed into India in 2011 with the acquisition of controlling stake in Cobra India, thereby forming a joint venture named 'Molson Coors Cobra India'. In 2013, Molson Coors Cobra and MSBL had also signed an agreement to distribute each other’s brands in their respective markets.

MSBL will be headquartered in Chandigarh and operate as a separate entity from Molson Coors Cobra with a separate governing board. It will continue to be called as Mount Shivalik Breweries for a period of time.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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