Heineken has agreed to acquire five beer and cider brands from Asahi Beverages, in a deal which will satisfy the conditions for Asahi’s purchase of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).
Asahi put the brands up for sale as a condition from Australia’s competition watchdog, ACCC, for its acquisition of CUB.
ACCC approved AB InBev’s proposed sale of CUB to Asahi for $11 billion earlier this year, with the condition that Asahi offloaded certain brands to prevent reduced competition in the cider and beer market.
The deal will see Strongbow Australia reunite with its global Strongbow portfolio after 17 years, when Heineken bought the rights to the entire brand outside of Australia and New Zealand.
Following its successful bid, Heineken will also take ownership of Little Green and Bonamy’s, along with the Australian rights to international beer brands, Stella Artois and Beck’s.
Following completion of the deal, the five brands will be distributed in Australia by Drinkworks, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heineken, strengthening its existing portfolio in the country that includes Tiger, Sol and Orchard Thieves.
Jacco van der Linden, president of Heineken APAC, said: “We are thrilled to bring the Strongbow brand in Australia home to Heineken and scale up our beer and cider portfolio in one of the world’s leading beer and cider markets.
“This acquisition shows that Heineken remains active in pursuing growth where we see opportunities that align with our long-term strategy.”
According to Asahi, there will be no manufacturing job losses or brewery closures as a result of the deal.
The deal remains subject to regulatory approval – including the ACCC – which is expected in Q4 2020. No financial details were disclosed.
By Emma Upshall
Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced his decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.
Globally, plant-based ice creams have doubled their share of the market over the last five years, according to Tetra Pack. Pea protein and coconut milk are leading the way, but Tetra Pak cites data showing that oat-based ice cream launches have doubled in the previous year.
A myriad of so-called eco-labels are being rolled out across various F&B products, but with no gold standard or strict rules governing precisely what the logos mean and what methodology is behind them, concerns are growing that they will confuse consumers and ultimately be counterproductive.