Foster's set to separate wine and beer businesses

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.