Japanese giant Asahi will set up a separate division to oversee the sale of three cider brands, including Strongbow, and the Australian rights to beer brands Stella Artois and Beck’s, after gaining clearance from the competition regulator for the US$16 billion buyout of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave the all-clear on Wednesday, April 1, to the Asahi acquisition of CUB, the market leader in Australia, eight months after the proposed acquisition was announced. But it will strictly enforce undertakings given by Asahi that the buyers of the brands to be sold will have the same access to shelf space at retailers and on-tap arrangements at pubs, clubs and bars as Asahi has now.
Asahi announced it had agreed to divest the three cider brands – Strongbow, Little Green, and Bonamy’s – and international beer brands Stella Artois and Beck’s, and would ”establish a stand-alone, independent business unit to help manage the divestment of these brands.’.
Asahi’s beer brands include Asahi Super Dry, Peroni, Mountain Goat, Cricketers Arms, and Two Suns. It also owns the Schweppes soft drinks business in Australia. CUB owns mainstream beer brands Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, and Great Northern, and craft beer brands 4Pines and the Adelaide-based Pirate Life.
Full Content: Financial Review
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