DENMARK: Carlsberg CEO - "can't say yes or no" to S&N
The new CEO of Carlsberg has said that the brewer is now "in a strong position" to make acquisitions going forward.
Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today (4 September), Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen said that the company will look at Asia to up its global footprint. "While it could be in China, I can't be too specific at this time," he said. "We are looking to identify opportunities in the region, where we can become the number one or number two brewer in different markets."
Carlsberg has prepared a DKK70bn (US$12.76bn) war chest this year for future acquisitions. When asked what kind of purchase the brewer was considering, Rasmussen said: "I can't really say anything more than we have already said. If we find something that contributes positively to the business, then we will go for it.
"The amount puts us in a strong and flexible position for the future."
When asked about ongoing speculation linking Carlsberg to a potential move for Scottish & Newcastle, Rasmussen said: "I can't say definitely no or yes to anything. We have already spent too much time making remarks about Scottish & Newcastle. All I would say is that we are very happy with our working relationship with S&N (in Eastern European joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding).
"I don't really want to add more fuel to the fire, because this is all just speculation," Rasmussen added.
Yesterday, Carlsberg unveiled Rasmussen as its new CEO. He replaces Nils Smedegaard Andersen at the beginning of next month, with Andersen heading for the group CEO post at AP Møller-Mærsk.
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