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Molson Cousin to Bid Against Coors

DENVER -- Ian Molson, former deputy chairman of Molson Inc., filed official notice with Canadian securities regulators that he plans to make a hostile bid for the Montreal-based brewer, reported the Billings (Mont.) Gazette.

A former investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston in London, Ian Molson, a cousin of Molson chairman Eric Molson, has reportedly been trying to put together a $4 billion all-cash offer for Molson since the company announced plans in July to merge with Adolph Coors Co.

"Given recent developments regarding Molson Inc., [Ian Molson] is currently considering his options regarding his holdings in the company, including potential acquisitions of additional shares, either alone or with others," the filing stated.

The July 28 filing is related to a 2002 purchase of 26,580 Class B voting shares of Molson, which brought Ian Molson's control of the company up to 2.3 million Class B shares, or 10 percent. Eric Molson controls about 55 percent.

Ian Molson could not be reached for comment.

Toronto private equity firm Onex Corp. has reportedly committed $750 million toward Ian Molson's bid.

Andrew Molson, the oldest son of Eric Molson, who will serve on the Molson Coors board of directors if the proposed merger goes through, declined to comment on the possibility of a counteroffer. "I'm looking at this transaction as a wonderful opportunity for us to remain in the brewing business for a long, long time with another brewing family," he said.
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