Canada's Molson and US-based Coors have announced plans for a "merger of equals" of the two family-controlled brewers creating the world's fifth largest beermaker by volume.
The deal "will create a new company with the operating scale and balance sheet strength to take a leading role in the consolidating global brewing industry," the companies said in a joint statement.
With combined beer production of 60 million hectoliters (51 million barrels), the company to be named Molson Coors Brewing Company will be the world's fifth largest brewing company by volume, the statement said.
"This transaction allows us to create a stronger company in a consolidating global industry while preserving Molson's rich heritage as North America's oldest beer company and Canada's leading brewer," said Eric Molson, chairman of the Canadian firm.
The two firms are steeped in brewing history, with Montreal-based Molson, founded in 1786, as Canada's oldest brewer, while Coors dates its founding back to 1873, when Adolph Coors created the firm in Golden, Colorado.