As all eyes were on the continuing drama of InBev's attempt to buy Anheuser-Busch, another beer tie-up, MillerCoors, officially launched on Monday in New York.
MarketWatch's William Spain was on hand in New York for the launch event, where a new logo was unveiled for the joint venture: a pint glass that Spain described as "half full." MillerCoors' executives are do doubt hoping it won't come to be seen as half empty.
That likely won't happen anytime soon, though. The joined companies, SABMiller and MolsonCoors, will be able to cut costs â€"- by about a half-billion dollars a year, the companies, say -- and employ economies of scale to better compete with Busch. Brewing operations for individual brands won't be affected much, and few if any actual brewing jobs will be cut. "But there are multiple overlaps in everything from marketing to human resources," Spain notes.
Beer, insisted SABMiller CEO Graham Mackay, is making a comeback, and the joint venture's timing is perfect. "There is much more interest in the category than there was five years ago," he said. "The industry has rediscovered its passion and there is better brand differentiation and less commoditization."