Foster's set to separate wine and beer businesses

28 April, 2011

Foster’s demerger of its wine and beer businesses is expected to be rubber-stamped by shareholders tomorrow (Friday, April 29).

The deal will mean that Treasury Wine Estates – the division which owns brands such as Penfolds, Lindemans and Rosemount – will become a separate entity. It currently generates A$1.9 billion in sales revenue.

The beer operation, known as Carlton & United Breweries, is best known in the UK for Foster’s lager, although the rights to that brand are owned here by Heineken UK. Its annual sales are A$2.4 billion.

Shareholders meet in Melbourne at 9am and are expected to give the go-ahead to the deal, ending 15 years of the company operating as a combined beer and wine business.

If the vote goes as expected, the two companies will legally separate on May 10, each with its own shareholding structure.




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In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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