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Molson Coors buying StarBev for $3.54B

(AP) DENVER - Molson Coors (TAP) is spending $3.54 billion to buy the StarBev and its nine breweries in central and eastern Europe as it expands its operations.

StarBev had sales last year of about $1 billion. The company, which brews Bergenbier, Ozusko and Borsodi beers, is owned by funds advised by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and StarBev management.

The acquisition is expected to add to Molson Coors earnings in the first full year of operations and result in about $50 million in pre-tax operational savings by 2015. Molson Coors Brewing Co. is based in Denver.

The buyout, which needs approval from European regulators, is expected to close in the second quarter. StarBev LP will keep its headquarters in the Czech Republic and run as a separate division of Molson Coors.