Coors Seals Deal for Carling, Stirs Other Brewers

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Feb 06, 2002
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Adolph Coors Co., third-largest brewer in the U.S., completed the purchase of
the Carling business portion of Bass Brewers from Interbrew S.A. for $1.7 billion.
The deal makes newly created Coors Brewers Ltd. the second-largest brewer in the
U.K., and includes the majority of the assets that previously made up Bass Brewers,
including the Carling, Grolsch, Worthington, and Caffrey’s beer brands. It includes
several other beer and flavored-alcohol-beverage brands, related brewing and malting
facilities in the U.K., and a 49.9 percent interest in the logistics provider
Tradeteam.

In related news, Danish-owned brewer Tetley is in discussion with Interbrew
to combine their U.K. beer operations and take on Adolph Coors, the new owner
of Carling lager, Britain’s biggest-selling beer. The companies would combine
logistics and distribution divisions into one operation that would be run by
a third party, possibly BOC. Savings from scaled-down distribution would be
redirected into boosting sales of Interbrew’s Stella Artois, which, alongside
Carlsberg, would supply a premium and standard lager in a combined offering.
Interbrew bought Bass Brewers for $5.17 billion in 2000 but was forced by the
Competition Commission to sell the Carling brand.

Moderator Comment: Will brewer consolidation have
a major impact on the beer category in the United States?

Coors will obviously have more influence in the U.K.
because of this acquisition. Will it improve its bargaining position with retailers
for space in the U.S. considering the strength of Anheuser-Busch and the reported
merger of Miller with Scottish & Newcastle and South African Breweries?
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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