Modelo, Molson eyeing joint Foster’s bid-source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Molson Coors Brewing Co and Corona beer brewer Grupo Modelo SAB de CV have been exploring a joint bid for Australia’s Foster’s Group Ltd, a source familiar with the situation said Thursday.

Banks including Bank of America Corp and Deutsche Bank AG are helping the beer companies to come up with financing for a possible bid, the source said, declining to be named because the talks are not public.

But a bid looks less likely now than it did a few weeks ago because of concerns about the structure of the deal, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.

A takeover could be difficult if Anheuser-Busch InBev SA , which owns 50 percent of Modelo, seeks to block a purchase, Bloomberg said.

All of the brewers and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Bank of America was not immediately available for comment.

Foster’s, Australia’s top brewer with brands including VB and Cascade, is seen as one of the last big prizes in a globally consolidated beer industry. It spun off its wine business earlier this month and was widely expected to garner interest from companies including SABMiller PLC.

Foster’s shares closed Thursday at A$4.28 in Australia. Its American Depositary Receipts were up 4 percent at $4.73 in afternoon trade on the Pink Sheets. (Reporting by Martinne Geller, Paritosh Bansal and Brad Dorfman; Editing by Gunna Dickson, Tim Dobbyn, Dave Zimmerman)