JAPAN’S ASAHI NOW OWNS AUSSIE RIGHTS TO AB INBEV BRANDS LIKE BUDWEISER & CORONA
By Susan Lewis
Credit: David Mathews
Japanese drinks giant Asahi Group has acquired Australia’s Carlton & United Breweries from global giant AB InBev for AUD16 billion (USD10.7b), the deal includes the Australian rights to beer brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona.
The two companies first announced the deal last July, but the plan met with challenge from Australia's Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) which thinks Asahi will dominate Australia’s cider market after the acquisition.
Asahi responded by announcing that it will offload some cider brands in its portfolio if the acquisition is allowed to proceed. The company eventually got approval from ACCC in early April.
Carlton & United is a Melbourne based company which brews Australian beer brands including Victoria Bitter, Melbourne Bitter, Carlton Draught, Great Northern and Pure Blonde.
It also owns cider brands like Mercury, Little Green and Australian rights to brands like Bulmers and Strongbow.
The acquisition also includes the Australian rights to AB InBev’s international portfolio, including brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks and Corona.
"Despite the challenging environment, our colleagues working on this transaction showed great dedication and remained focused on delivering to its completion," said AB InBev's CEO, Carlos Brito.
"I would like to thank them and also the Carlton & United Breweries team for their continued commitment and resilience," he added
AB InBev intends to use the proceeds to pay down the USD106b of debt incurred from the purchase of brewing giant SABMiller in 2016.
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