GLOBAL: Consolidation still out there for global brewers - SABMiller CEO
The CEO of SABMiller has warned that the consolidation of the global brewing landscape still has some distance to run, despite a lull in M&A activity in recent months.
While SABMiller secured ownership of Kingway Brewery Holdings for US$864m earlier this year, the majority of beer company purchases this year have seen brewers take control of entities that they already held some size of stake in. While Anheuser-Busch saw its US$20.1bn move to take full control of Grupo Modelo finally proceed in June, Carlsberg upped its holding in China's Chongqing Brewery to 60% in March, at a cost of around US$462m.
Speaking to analysts and media at SABMiller's latest quarterly divisional seminar in London today (16 September), however, CEO Alan Clark said that he did not believe that the recent transaction signalled an end to broader brewing consolidation. “The commentary for a while has been that perhaps the age of consolidation is coming to an end,” Clark said. “We do not agree with that.
“Going forward, we think there will be further opportunities for us. Whether they meet the financial criteria we have set or not, we shall see over time.”
Although Clark would not be drawn further on M&A opportunities, he noted: “The geographic expansion into new territories will clearly be part of our strategy.”
Clark's accession to the helm at SABMiller was brought forward in April, after departing-CEO Graham Mackay was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
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