Asahi confirms £1.8 billion acquisition of Peroni and Grolsch from AB InBev

11 February, 2016

AB InBev has accepted a £1.8 billion bid from Japanís Asahi brewing group for four beer brands including Peroni and Grolsch.

The sale, which includes UKís Meantime brewery and Miller Brands UK, is aimed at easing competition and other regulatory concerns occasioned by AB InBevís £70 billion acquisition of SAB Miller, announced towards the end of last year.

The deal is conditional on the completion of the AB InBev SAB Miller merger.

It represents Asahiís largest acquisition yet, and is the biggest transaction in the competitive Japanese drinks market since since Suntoryís 2014 acquisition of Beam Inc for £11 billion.

Japanís drinkers are increasingly turning away from beer, and domestic sales at Japanís five leading brewers have declined every year in the last decade, the†Nikkei Asian Review reports.

Asahi fended off competition for the brands from a number of rivals, including Thailandís largest brewery, Thai Bev.

Former Diageo chief executive, Paul Walsh, also explored a bid in partnership with private equity firm, TPG Capital.

The £1.8 billion bid values the brands at some 14 times earnings, the Financial Times reports.

ďAsahi aims to expand its growth platform in Europe and become a global player with a distinct position,Ē the group said in a statement.

In related news, Heineken the worldís third largest brewer, reported 2015 profits of £1.5 billion this week, up 25% on 2014.




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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 Ė which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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