Owners of Czech brewer Budejovicky mestansky pivovar (BMP) have put 97% of the company's shares up for sale, for a total asking price of CK1.5bn (US$72m).

Local reports have cited state-owned Budejovicky Budvar as a frontrunner to buy BMP, but Czech Republic's agriculture minister Petr Gandalovic has been quoted as saying the price is too high.  

BMP's annual production is approximately 180,000 hectolitres. Its brands are Samson, BB and 1795 Budweiser Beer.

The fall of beer production in the Czech Republic in March slowed to 0.5%. In January and February, the drop was around 9% and almost 15% respectively.