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.
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