CEE: Molson Coors to distribute Diageo beer brands

Molson Coors Beverage Company and Diageo are extending their partnership in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with a new distribution agreement for Diageo’s current and future key beer brands such as Guinness, Kilkenny and Hop House 13. The partnership which started in April 2021 in the Czech Republic with Pivovary Staropramen, the Czech subsidiary of Molson Coors, will now be extended to other Molson Coors subsidiaries in the region, BeverageDaily reported today.

As of Januar 1st, the Molson Coors breweries in Bulgaria (Kamenitza), Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina (Zagrebačka Pivovara), Hungary (Borsodi Sörgyár), Montenegro (Pivara Trebjesa), Slovakia (Pivovary Staropramen) and Serbia (Apatinska Pivara) will start distributing the Diageo beer brands thus complementing Molson Coors’ portfolio of local and international beer brands as well as major AB InBev brands like Stella Artois, Becks and Corona in selected on-trade and off-trade locations.

The distribution agreement for the AB InBev brands stems from a time before the world’s leading brewer sold its holdings in Central Europe to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in 2009 and renamed the whole package to StarBev. When Molson Coors bought StarBev in 2012, the company became responsible for the distribution of these brands.

“We are very excited and proud to distribute these global and iconic brands from Diageo in our territories in CEE,” said Sergey Yeskov, who currently serves as Managing Director of Molson Coors’ Central and Eastern Europe region and will become President and CEO of the company’s whole European business unit effective Jan. 1. (inside.beer, 3.11.2021)

“We want to expand our portfolio in a way that allows us to premiumize our proposition to our customers, enter new spaces and find partners with the same values as Molson Coors, which are rooted in quality, craftsmanship and tradition,” he added.

Michael Holm, Managing Director Diageo Eastern Europe commented the deal as follows. “We will continue to evolve our route to market strategy and we believe that this cooperation will help us to significantly increase the availability of our beer brands. We look forward to the opportunities and growth we can achieve together with Molson Coors in most of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe with our brands and future innovations.”

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