Asahi pays €7.3bn for InBev brands

AB InBev has sold SAB Miller’s brewing assets from five Central and Eastern European countries (including the Pilsner Urquell brand from Plzensky Prazdroy in the Czech Republic and Polish brands Tyskie and Lech) to Asahi Group Holdings for €7.3 billion.

The sale moves AB InBev further along the path towards regulatory approval for the SAB Miller deal that was struck for $106 billion (€101bn) last October. The deal also means that Asahi – formerly a relatively small player on the global brewing stage – has now spent over €9.6 billion ($10bn) since April on European beer brands having bought SAB Miller brands Peroni and Grolsch from AB InBev for €2.55 billion ($2.67bn). The latest deal makes it the second-largest drinks industry purchase by a Japanese company following Suntory Holding’s $16 billion (€15.3bn) buyout of Beam Inc in the US in 2014 and a significant player on the greater European brewing scene.

While beer sales in Western Europe have been in decline on the back of pressure from craft beers, wines and spirits, Asahi – the largest brewer by value in Japan – hopes that the acquisitions will help it expand distribution of its own brands in Europe as a whole while beefing-up brand push in Western Europe since sales have also be declining in its home market due to a population decline and ageing there.

“Asahi’s Eastern European brand purchase is no huge surprise as it was widely considered the favourite for the acquisition,” commented Euromonitor’s International Research Analyst Anna Ward, “The move follows on from the company’s takeover of other SABMiller brands in Europe including Peroni and Grolsh earlier in the year and gives Asahi 16% of the Eastern European beer market, making it the third-biggest regional player.

“Asahi has been leading the way among Japanese brewers focusing on geographic expansion as they seek to mitigate the impact from their challenging domestic market.

“While European beer markets do not offer huge growth potential, their appeal derives from the substantial volumes available in the region. The Czech Republic, where Asahi gains leading premium lager Pilsner Urquell, has the highest per capita beer consumption level in the world.”




Company Shares (Global – Historical Owner) | Historical | Total Volume | % breakdown
Geographies Categories Companies 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
World Beer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV 18.50 18.20 18.10 19.90 20.80
World Beer SABMiller Plc 9.10 9.70 9.60 9.60 9.70
World Beer Heineken NV 8.40 8.50 9.10 8.90 9.00
World Beer Carlsberg A/S 5.80 5.60 5.60 6.40 6.20
World Beer China Resources Holdings Co Ltd
World Beer Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd 3.40 3.70 4.00 4.40 4.60
World Beer Molson Coors Brewing Co 2.70 2.60 3.20 3.20 3.10
World Beer Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co Ltd 2.70 2.90 2.80 2.90 2.70
World Beer Kirin Holdings Co Ltd 1.80 2.60 2.50 2.40 2.20
World Beer Asahi Group Holdings Ltd 1.30 1.30 1.20 1.20







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