Global beer and alcohol brands in musical chairs in giant takeover game
Singapore food and beverage company Fraser and Neave has expressed interest in acquiring South Africa’s SABMiller’s Peroni and Grolsch beer brands in Europe.
The expression of interest is occurring whilst beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is in the process of acquiring SABMiller. Anheuser-Busch InBev was formed in 2008 as an amalgamation between Interbrew from Belgium, AmBev from Brazil, and Anheuser-Busch from the United States.
Since 2011 SABMiller has owned Carlton United Breweries (CUB) brands including Carlton Draught, Crown Larger, Victoria Bitter, Pure Blonde, Blummers Cider and Strongbow Cider after acquiring the Foster’s Group.
In a statement Fraser and Neave said as of the 26 January 2016 emphasised no deal had been made yet.
“The Company constantly evaluates and looks out for strategic opportunities to grow its business, and in this respect, it has expressed an interest to acquire the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands,” Fraser and Neave said.
“However, the Company would like to emphasise that there is no certainty of any transaction materialising and it will make appropriate announcements if and when there are any material developments in this matter,” Fraser and Neave stated.
Sign of the times
This expression of interest is just a sign of the times as major global brewers and beverage marketers are caught up in a merry-go-round chase for market share a very competitive and mature beer and spirits market. There are also pressures brought to bear by government regulators to force divestiture by an acquirer of a competing brand in the same product category. The move is to prevent market share aggregation.
SABMiller owned the sparkling apple juice product Appletiser until it sold the brand to Coca-Cola in December 2014. SABMiller is a producer of Coca-Cola products. In Australia however, Coca-Cola Amatil bottles Coke-branded beverages, whilst Coke subsidiary division Coca-Cola South Pacific still owns the brands.
Another example impacting the Australian market is Japan’s Asahi Premium Beverages who acquired Schweppes Australia in 2011 taking responsibility for brands including Pepsi, Cottee’s Cordial, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Solo and Sunkist.
It aacquired Charlie’s juice which originates from New Zealand and P&N Beverages in 2011.