The London International Wine Fair is widely regarded as the world’s leading trade tasting with some 20,000 wines. The Fair delivers a unique opportunity for producers, importers and buyers to network, taste and focus on business. Free to visit and trade only – taking place at ExCeL London, 17-19th May.
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Last week, just-drinks had exclusive access to the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe's annual conference in London.
One of the highlights of the event was SABMiller's CEO, Graham Mackay, holding court on mergers and acquisitions opportunities in the beer world. He said that SABMiller, alongside others, remains interested in bolt-on acquisitions in growth markets.
His comments look all the more interesting in light of a Sunday Times article, published yesterday (3 April), which linked the Peroni brewer to a bid for Brazil's second-largest brewer, privately-held Schincariol. Most analysts believe that SABMiller would love to find a way into Brazil, but the market is dominated by Anheuser-Busch InBev's AmBev. Schincariol could be a good platform for anyone looking to challenge A-B InBev in the country's emerging premium beer category.
Also at CAGE, we learned that Heineken has been forced to rethink its strategy in Russia. In soft drinks, meanwhile, The Coca-Cola Co spoke for the first time about the impact of the Japanese earthquake on its business, as PepsiCo said it will concentrate more on its recent acquisitions than on future ones.
Meanwhile, the big stories on just-drinks last week concerned A-B InBev's purchase of US craft brewer Goose Island, the latest ruling in the US over Havana Club giving both Bacardi and Pernod Ricard reasons to be cheerful, and the continuation of Diageo's talks with the owners of Zacapa rum beyond last week's deadline day.
A quick heads-up: Our deputy editor, Chris Mercer, is en route to Copenhagen as I type, to meet up with Carlsberg's CEO, Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen. If you have any questions you'd like Chris to put to him, email them today to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time...