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Cobra deal costs creditors £75m

Published:  31 May, 2009

Molson Coors UK has taken a 50.1% stake in Cobra Beer after the business went into administration last week.

The deal sees Cobra founder Lord Bilimoria take the remaining 49.9% stake in a deal which means Cobra's unsecured creditors - including Wells & Young's, which brews the lager in the UK - will not be paid the £75 million they are owed.

The deal was put together by accountants after a buyer was not found for the loss-making business. Molson Coors has paid £14 million for its share in the new venture, which inherits retail sales of £177 million, reportedly rising 20% year on year.

Staff numbers at Cobra have fallen from 150 to 50, with chief executive Adrian McKeon among those leaving the business.