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Another Beer Blast From Nafta


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ANOTHER BEER BLAST FROM NAFTA

Credit the North American Free Trade Agreement for dramatically rearranging the beer business. On July 6, Canadian brewer John Labatt and Mexico's Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA) announced they are forming a "North American Beer Partnership." Labatt will pay $510 million for 22% of FEMSA's beer subsidiary, best known for its Dos Equis and Tecate brands. In addition to distributing one another's brews in Mexico and Canada, the two companies plan to wage a joint assault on the U.S. market. In a similar hookup, Miller Brewing last year purchased 20% of Molson Breweries of Canada. And last summer, Anheuser-Busch paid $477 million for 18% of Mexico's Grupo Modelo, which makes Corona suds.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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