This week has got off to a bit of a flyer already, after a report in yesterday's (22 August) Sunday Times here in the UK reignited speculation over a sale of Foster's Group's Australian beer business. SABMiller is mulling a bid for Foster's of around GBP7bn (US$10.9bn), the paper has claimed.
There is nothing essentially new in the report. But, there have been slim pickings on bid rumours since Foster's announced its beer and wine demerger back in May and the Times report has spread like a wildfire over a dry summer news landscape. We already know that SABMiller, Molson Coors and Asahi Breweries are interested in Foster's Carlton & United Breweries unit and perhaps these three are emerging as early frontrunners. For now, though, it's a case of as you were.
Foster's will report its full-year numbers tomorrow, which is an opportunity to learn more about the performance of its two divisions and the progress of the demerger plan.
The group's announcement is one of several expected this week. Heineken will announce half-year results on Wednesday and we expect it to report falling market share in Russia. Meanwhile, Diageo will publish full-year figures on Thursday, in what will be an eagerly-anticipated glimpse into the state of consumer confidence from the view of the world's largest alcoholic drinks producer.
On the features front on just-drinks last week, we rounded up our recent coverage of Russia's beer market on the back of Carlsberg's posting of its first-half results last Tuesday.
Our wine guru, Chris Losh, meanwhile, considered what would be waiting for the winemakers of the northern hemisphere returning from their summer holidays. Finally, Ben Cooper looks at the pending announcement of guidelines for food and drink advertising in the US and how the consultation period thus far has progressed.
Until next time...