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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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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