Nov 10 2008

InBev clears way for SABMiller in Germany

Published by at 11:47 am under Companies,Top Stories

Less than a week after London-based SABMiller, the world’s number two beer brewer, announced plans to double its market share in Germany, InBev today announced its withdrawal from the German market. Belgium-based Inbev is the world’s biggest beer brewer.

The Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) reported this morning InBev will sell its German business, including the rights to Becks, to help it finance its earlier acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. Back then many commentators (including SABMiller’s boss Graham MacKay) reckoned InBev paid too much for Anheuser-Busch.

According to FTD InBev will sell its breweries, operations and rights to licenses in Germany to the German brewer Radeberger for over €1 billion. Radeberger is a subsidiary of Dr. Oetker, a giant food manufacturer in Germany.

Radeberger didn’t want to confirm the rumour to FTD, but a spokesman of InBev confirmed to FTD that InBev wants to sell its German business.

Should the sale go through, it’ll push Radeberger’s market share in Germany from 15% to 25%, said FTD. Radeberger only operates in Germany. InBev was said to retain the rights to Becks and other assets sold to Radeberger outside Germany.

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One Response to “InBev clears way for SABMiller in Germany”

  1. adminon 13 Nov 2008 at 7:47 pm

    This follow-up article appeared on Just-drinks.com on 12/11/2008, confirming the above article:

    “InBev may look to sell its Beck’s beer brand as part of disposals following the brewer’s takeover of Anheuser-Busch.

    Analysts believe German beer Beck’s might feature high on a list of disposals being considered by InBev, in the wake of its US$52bn agreement to buy Anheuser-Busch.

    One analyst told Just-drinks today (12 November) that Beck’s and InBev’s German beer unit could be “carved out of the rest of the portfolio relatively straight forwardly”. He said a sale may fetch up to $2.5bn.

    He said InBev may choose to push Stella Artois ahead of Beck’s on an international level. “Stella is likely more profitable. It may have suffered in the UK, but it is doing very well in the US.”

    German group Dr. Oetker was named as a possible buyer of Beck’s and InBev German operations in a Bloomberg report last Friday.

    Beck’s Vier has performed very well in the UK, however, which has raised questions about whether InBev would want to give the brand up. It is thought the brewer would want to keep hold of licences to the brand in key growth markets.

    Commenting on reports that InBev is eyeing a range of disposals, also to include Anheuser theme parks, an InBev spokesperson told Just-drinks last week: “As previously discussed, we are contemplating disposals of certain assets from both companies.”

    She added: “However, it is too early to comment at this stage on which businesses specifically would be considered.”


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