Molson Coors CEO sees keeping strategy, investment rating

LONDON (Reuters) - Molson Coors (TAP.N) expects to maintain is current strategy and investment grade rating following its $12 billion takeover of the U.S. MillerCoors joint venture, its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

Bolt-on acquisitions, such as the majority stake Molson bought last month in craft brewer Saint Archer, will remain on the table, CEO Mark Hunter said, even as the brewer works to pay down debt from the takeover, which is conditional on Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) buying SABMiller SAB.L.

Hunter said he expects Molson to maintain its investment grade rating, even as its leverage ratio swells to 5.1 or 5.2, as he expects, should Molson fund 75 percent of its purchase with debt. He said the company will work to deliver as quickly as possible, though Molson intends to maintain its dividend per share.

Reporting by Martinne Geller in London, editing by David Evans

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