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Molson Coors closes on $3.54B StarBev buyout

DENVER (AP) -- Molson Coors Brewing Co. has closed on its $3.54 billion acquisition of Central European brewer StarBev.

The brewer, based in Denver, announced the buyout in April, saying that the deal would help to further expand its operations in the region.

Molson Coors, whose products include Coors Light and Molson Canadian, said Monday that the company will become one of its divisions and be renamed Molson Coors Central Europe.

Mark Hunter, CEO of Molson Coors U.K. and Ireland, will serve as CEO of the new unit, whose flagship brand is Staropramen. The company previously announced that StarBev's CEO, Alain Beyens, would leave the company once the deal was complete.

Stewart Glendinning, Molson Coors' CFO, replaces Hunter as head of the U.K. and Ireland business. Gavin Hattersley will be the company's new CFO. He had been CFO of MillerCoors, the U.S. joint venture Molson Coors owns with U.K. brewer SAB Miller plc.

Molson Coors Central Europe runs nine breweries, selling its brands in in the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia. It has about 4,100 workers.

Last month Denver-based Molson Coors reported that its first-quarter net income fell as it was hurt by the costs related to the buyout, but its earnings still beat Wall Street's expectations thanks to higher beer prices.