Private Treaty Sale: Fruit Juice Filling & Packing Line:
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So, the deal has finally come about: SABMiller patched up its differences with Foster's Group over a beer in Istanbul and the rest is history.
Not, however, without some serious spin on the amount SABMiller will pay to secure Australia's largest brewer. The Peroni brewer will dish out AUD5.1 per share (US$4.97), an AUD0.2 increase on its previous offer, while Foster's will make sure shareholders receive AUD5.5325 per share by paying extra out of its own pocket.
And yet, the same old questions have arisen. Chief among them: Is this deal worth the bother for SABMiller? Foster's is sitting in a cul-de-sac market, where people are drinking less beer than they used to. Some analysts have pointed out that the deal also looks pricey.
SABMiller's strategy seems to be to cut operating costs, slimline the Foster's portfolio of brands, potentially use the Foster's lager brand in new markets and, finally - but importantly - benefit from the brewer's high cash generation.
In a highly consolidated beer industry, the Peroni brewer has taken a rare opportunity to add sizeable scale. The jury, though, looks like being 'out' for some time on whether the move has paid off.
While the beer dogfight was coming to an end, I was busy swanning around Cannes – as is my wont – at this year's TFWA World Exhibition. To read my postcard from the show, click here. And, if your understanding of duty free isn't up to speed, then gen' up here.
Until next time...