Brewing giant Molson Coors is integrating its UK and Ireland business with its recently acquired Central European operation.

Former UK and Ireland boss Mark Hunter will become CEO of the new business, to be called Molson Coors Europe. Hunter left the UK in May to become CEO of Molson Coors Central Europe after the $3.5bn acquisition of rival StarBev.

UK and Ireland CEO Stewart Glendinning is to replace Canada CEO Dave Perkins, who retires at the end of January, while MD of independent on-premise and wholesale Simon Cox has been appointed to the new role of MD UK & Ireland, reporting in to Hunter.

A Molson Coors spokesman told The Grocer that Hunter, who had led the UK and Ireland business since 2007, was the obvious choice to lead the enlarged business.

“Mark has gained deep insight into the Central Europe business over the past few months and he brings extensive first-hand experience with UK and Ireland,” he said. “It makes sense based on his knowledge of the markets and his strong management skills.”

Molson Coors Europe will account for 38% of the brewer’s global beer volume and 30% of its total sales by value. It was too early to say whether the move would result in any major changes in its supply chain or impact jobs, said the spokesman.

“Over the coming months, our aim is to develop proposals on structures we will share with employees and consult on in accordance with local legislation practices,” he said.