Comment: All eyes on Australia
Australia's drinks industry could be facing a few seismic shifts over the next few months.
The soft drinks market entered a tailspin this week upon news that leading brewer Lion Nathan, a subsidiary of Japan's Kirin, had lodged a A$7.7bn bid for leading soft drinks player Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA).
CCA has rejected the bid, upon advice from The Coca-Cola Co., but appeared to leave the door ajar for a more lucrative offer.
A deal between the two would create the largest beverage group in Australia and New Zealand.
News of the bid potentially sets up a busy period of mergers and acquisitions in Australia, despite the economic gloom enveloping the planet.
Then it's on to alcohol. Foster's is due to deliver the conclusions of its review into the firm's struggling wine business early next year.
Some say economic conditions could curtail a sell-off, and others have questioned whether there would be sufficient interest in picking up an ailing Australian wine unit, but analysts continue to believe that some of kind of movement is likely next year.
Should Foster's cut loose the wine business, that may leave its more successful beer division exposed to predators.
Less than two weeks ago, Molson Coors revealed itself as the mystery buyer of a 5% stake in Foster's. All options remain open, Molson has insisted. Other brewers would also likely take a look, notably SABMiller, Molson's new bedfellow in the US.
Credit crunch or not, Australia looks like one to watch.
Drought conditions have made the last few years tough for Australian wine producers. But while one might have expected the extended hot and dry conditions to be a fillip for the soft drinks sector, fi...
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Kirin Holdings has reported net losses of JPY6bn for the first quarter of 2009, but the group maintained its full-year guidance after rises in sales and operating profits....
Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings has said it hopes to complete a buyout of all outstanding shares in Lion Nathan by October this year....
Australian brewer Lion Nathan has said that it expects to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan's Kirin Holdings within the next week....
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Kirin Holdings has acquired a 19% stake in Philippines-based San Miguel Brewery for PHP26.2bn, the Japanese brewer has said....
Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings has agreed to buy up the remaining shares in Australia's Lion Nathan for A$3.3bn....
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