Asahi Group is thirsting for Peroni and Grolsch beers – so much so, that the top Japanese brewer is offering to pay ¥400 billion (£2.3 billion, $3.3 billion) for those two European brands.
The preliminary offer, made to SABMiller, is meant to help Asahi stave off the hangover of declining beer sales, due to a shrinking population and the increasing popularity of wine.
But Asahi is not the only party who will be getting a gleeful buzz from such an intoxicating deal. A recent Guardian article also outlined how “the sale is aimed at easing antitrust approval for AB InBev’s $100bn-plus takeover of SABMiller, agreed last year. People familiar with the process have said AB InBev wants to wrap up the sale by the beginning of March.”
The Sydney Morning Herald, meanwhile, explains that AB InBev will have to work diligently to satisfy regulators, because the merger is creating a beer industry juggernaut worth $64 billion that gives the purchasing brewer a major toehold in Africa and Latin America. These markets would act as a further demonstration of AB InBev’s dominance – and prompting regulators to make sure it carefully follows monopoly-curbing stipulations.
One of those concessions is for SABMiller to sell 59 percent of its American stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors Brewing, its current joint venture partner, for the sum of $12 billion. As an earlier article states, both Asahi and Kirin have bellied up to the bar, so to speak, and have been thirsty for acquisitions after last year’s big beer deal. This Asahi deal marks a similar compromise and means that, as much as the Japanese brewer stands to gain from the transaction, it is but a drop in the proverbial bucket for the other big swigging companies at the counter.