EUR: Carlsberg, Heineken trash S&N’s results, plans, claims
The two European brewers, who have seen two proposed takeover offers for S&N rejected, said yesterday that the UK brewer's update, which included future strategic plans for the business, contained "no surprises".
S&N's performance in Western Europe, where the brewer said it has seen underlying market weakness in the third quarter, was described by the Carlsberg/Heineken consortium as "disappointing". "The Western European operations account for the majority of the profits and almost all of the group's cash flow from operations," the consortium claimed.
The two brewers also questioned S&N's value-creation initiatives, also announced yesterday, which include the sale of its French wholesale business, a long-term production and packaging agreement with Coors in the UK and the closure of a bottling plant, also in the UK.
"The raft of tactical initiatives … may very well not be in the long-term interests of the business and carry significant execution risk," the European brewers said.
Turning finally to S&N's comments on its arbitration case against Carlsberg regarding their joint venture in Eastern Europe, the consortium claimed the case had "no merit". S&N, which is hoping to gain full control of Baltic Beverages Holding from Carlsberg, said yesterday that it was "confident" that its claims that Carlsberg had circumvented the so-called 'shotgun' provision of BBH's shareholder agreement. Should this be proved by the Arbitral Tribunal, then S&N would have the right to acquire Carlsberg's stake in BBH.
"There continues to be no foundation to S&N's claims," the consortium said. "Contrary to what is stated … by S&N, Carlsberg is not a party to the BBH shareholders agreement (and so cannot be in breach of it) and neither therefore is a party to the arbitration. Pripps-Ringnes - a fully-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg - is a party to the BBH shareholders agreement and is the party that arbitration proceedings have been instituted against." According to Swedish law, Carlsberg and Heineken said, Pripps-Ringnes cannot be held responsible for actions by Carlsberg or the consortium in relation to the proposed offer.
S&N said yesterday that it was prepared to introduce a minority partner, should it succeed in gaining full ownership of BBH. CEO John Dunsmore said that the company was talking to his "enemies' enemies", adding that his diary "was not empty" when it came to such meetings. Dunsmore declined to give further details, however.
Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, Heineken's chairman and CEO, said: "In light of today's unconvincing trading update and list of tactical initiatives, we urge S&N's shareholders to continue to encourage their board to engage with the consortium."
Carlsberg's CEO, Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, added: "The BBH arbitration process continues to be a smokescreen. We remain ready to sit down with the board of S&N to progress our 750p cash proposal at the earliest opportunity."
Beam Global Spirits & Wine was the frontrunner to land Absolut vodka but was pipped at the post by Pernod Ricard. However, president and CEO Tom Flocco says the company has quickly put that disappoint...
Shares in the Dr Pepper Snapple Group officially begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday (7 May). Headlines accompanying the first few days of this newly-listed soft drinks group wer...
Global soft drink giant The Coca-Cola Company has announced it is to invest US$50m in the expansion and up-scaling of its bottling lines across Kenya....
The C&C Group has announced that, following a fall in cider sales, the company's operational profit has declined 37.3% over the last financial year....
The top ten most visited stories on just-drinks this week:...
Coming up at this year's London International Wine & Spirits Fair are products from Constellation, Diageo and Cocoa Farm. To keep track of all the LIWF news see our diary every day....
The Coca-Cola Co. has signed a letter of intent to acquire a number of water and energy drink brands in Denmark and Finland from regional bottling partner Carlsberg....
Castel has acquired Oenoalliance, a union of family wine merchants specialising in Bordeaux wines and Languedoc Roussillon wines, for an undisclosed sum....
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Focus - Remy Cointreau's H1 Performance by Brand
- Three Questions for the Drinks Industry
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- Moet Hennessy sales falter in YTD
- Diageo Q1 sales dip "in line with expectations"
- Diageo to appeal Parrot Bay UK TV ad ban