Leuven, Belgium based AB InBev is selling five eastern European brands to Asahi.
Five brands are involved in the deal, including Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic), Tyskie and Lech (Poland), Dreher (Hungary), and Ursus (Romania).
Each of the brands were owned by SABMiler before AB InBev’s $100 billion takeover, finalized this fall.
Besides their brands that bear their own name, Asahi Breweries purchased Tsingtao from AB InBev in 2009, and London based Meantime Brewery, Grolsch and Peroni from SABMiller earlier this year.
Asasi has apparently been shopping the eastern European market for years. The purchase is the largest to date by Asahi, who seeking to become a stronger player in the global beer market.
CVC Capital Partners Ltd, a British private equity firm that owns Formula One is currently considering the sale of StarBev. StarBev is based in the Czech Republic, and brews 16 brands including Staropramen. Three big beer players have apparently approached StarBev, including Kirin, Asahi Group, and Anheuser-Busch InBev. Ironically, AB sold that same business to CVC back in 2009. In that 2009 deal, AB retained the rights to purchase the company back, should CVC decide to sell.
The list of interested parties don’t stop there. Rumors are that Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes Biracilik & Malt Sanayii A.Åž., SABMiller, Heineken, Tsingtao and Carlsberg could also want StarBev. The Wall Street Journal mentioned yesterday that the sale could come in as high as $3 billion. [Bloomberg]
Asahi Brewing is helping out the Japan build the best way they know how. With beer. The brewery has commissioned a beer wagon to drive around to festivals & rebuild sites this summer and give out cold beer.
Akiyoshi Koji, managing director of Asahi says the idea is to help out the people who work up a sweat helping rebuild Japan.
Sometimes things just look better with cold beer in hand. <ABC.net>
Right after the quake, another Japanese brewer jumped in to help victims. Kiuchi Brewing suspended all brewing to bottle water for victims
Beer is the last thing Japan needs to be worrying about right now. However beer, like car manufacturing bears economic importance. Total shipments of beer in March 2011 fell 10.9%. Breweries like Asahi, Kirin, & Kiuchi (Hitachino) have had to deal with power outages, material shortages, & brewery damage. Kiuchi actually stopped brewing altogether for a while in order to produce water for the victims. They have slowly started to brew again.
Overall, 10.9% decline pushes total production down to 33.34 million cases. Consumer confidence is down too. Consumption is down after the quake. As is a worry of radiation. Kiuchi Brewing has performed it’s own independent research and found negligible radiation findings. <MainichiDailyNews>