Molson Coors and Cobra Beer have formed a joint venture company, to be called Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd., that will own, produce and market the Cobra beer brand.
Molson Coors now owns 50.1% and Lord Karan Bilimoria, Cobra’s former owner will retain 49.9%. The JV acquired the brand and certain assets of the Cobra business from Cobra's administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The JV is portrayed as combining Molson Coors’ brewing and marketing expertise with Cobra Beer's brand equity and strong presence in ethnic restaurants. It will also benefit from Molson Coors’ UK distribution network.
The management will include Lord Bilimoria as chairman with representatives of the Molson Coors’ executive team.
The Cobra brand has been one of the fastest growing beer brands in the UK with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the past 17 years of 40%, most recently delivering a year-on-year increase in sales volumes of 20% in the nine months ended 30 April 2009 against an 8% decline in the UK beer market.