SABMiller in agreement to buy Grolsch

19 November, 2007

SABMiller looks set to strengthen its presence in the UK beer market after agreeing to buy Grolsch for €816m.

SABMiller looks set to strengthen its presence in the UK beer market after agreeing to buy Grolsch for €816m (£583m).

SAB said it had agreed with the Dutch brewer’s board on a conditional offer of €48.25 per share.

The move is the latest in a fresh round of brewing industry consolidation, and will hand SAB an established brand in the UK beer sector.

Grolsch is the eighth largest off-trade beer brand in the UK, despite sales having slipped three per cent in the country over the last year, according to Nielsen Scantrack data published in the Off Licence News Beer Report this week.

SAB has already enjoyed success in the UK off-trade with its Italian Peroni Nastro Azzuro lager, which this year entered the top 20 brands.

The group said it planned to use spare capacity at Grolsch’s brewery to bring more of its international brands to western markets.

Graham Mackay, SAB chief executive, added the group also wanted to expand Grolsch in emerging beer markets in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Ab Pasman, Chief Executive of Grolsch, said: “When we were asked to consider SABMiller’s proposal the key question was if greater value could be achieved than through our own existing strategy.

“Since this appeared to be the case, we entered into discussions and we believe that SABMiller’s intended Offer delivers benefits to all of our stakeholders.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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