Big brands M&A in global elephants dance

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th February 2017

In the period immediately following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the US stock market experienced an upward surge. At the same time, there has been significant merger and acquisition activity involving large global food and beverage brands. This article reports on some of the bigger acquisition bids and the Australian links or implications.

Heineken acquires Brasil Kirin

Amsterdam based brewer, Heineken, has entered into an agreement with Japan’s Kirin to acquire its Brazil business for EUR 664 million.

Brazil Kirin owns one of Brazil’s largest beer brands, Schin. Schin is not currently sold in Australia.

Heineken and Kirin beer are both distributed in Australia through Lion.

Brazil Kirin is also responsible for Baden Baden beer and Eisenbahn beer, along with Itubaina soft drink, few of which are known in Australia.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heineken, Jean-Francois, said the acquisition represents a step-change in scale in an exciting beer market.

“It reiterates our commitment to the Brazilian market and confidence in our ability to generate attractive returns over the long-term across all segments of the market,” he said.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group acquires Bai Brands

On the 31 January 2017, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group completed its acquisition of Bai Brands for US $1.7 billion.

Bai is a line of “antioxidant infused” flavoured drinks. After the company was first founded in 2009 in New Jersey by a man called Ben Weiss, it has expanded to sell a carbonated version of Bai, bottled water, iced tea and other beverages.

Larry Young, Dr Pepper Snapple Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said the Bai team has been “hitting the bull’s eye” in meeting consumer demand in better-for-you beverages.

“Now that they’re part of the DPS family, we’re going to let them continue to fly and build on the entrepreneurial spirit that’s driven their success while providing them access to the full complement of Dr Pepper Snapple’s resources and capabilities,” he said.

The Dr Pepper Snapple Group does not currently operate within Australia but some of its beverages, like Dr Pepper soft drink, are parallel imported and often sold through speciality confectionery retailers.

Within the US, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group sells 7-Up, Sunkist and Schweppes branded beverages. Within Australia, these brands are controlled by Japan’s Asahi beverages. Bai is not currently sold in Australia.

Other acquisitions

Since the start of 2017, Bega Cheese has acquired Vegemite from US Mondelez International.

Mars US also acquired pet-care company, VCA in January 2017.


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