AUS: Foster's looking to sell Asian brewing ops
Foster's Group is looking to sell its brewing assets in four key markets - with SABMiller one of a number of potential suitors for the operations, just-drinks understands.
Foster's Brewing International, the company's overseas beer arm, has put its businesses in China, India, Vietnam and Fiji on the block.
SABMiller has declared its interest in acquiring Foster's assets in these markets, just-drinks understands, but is not the only global brewer in the running. The sale process is understood to still be at an early stage with a conclusion still some way off.
SABMiller is understood to be attracted to Foster's operations in India, where it has been present since 1998 with a brewery in Maharashtra. The Foster's brand has also been the only international beer brand to achieve notable growth in India, with sales up 20% last year.
Foster's has a minor foothold in China but enjoys a significant presence in Vietnam, which has become the world's second fastest-growing beer market and where brewers Carlsberg, SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch have entered over the last two years.
SABMiller refused to comment on whether it was interested in bidding for Foster's Asian brewing assets. Scottish & Newcastle, which holds the European licence to the Foster's brand and has a 37.5% stake in India's largest brewer United Breweries, also declined to comment.
A Foster's spokesman said it was policy not to comment on market speculation, before adding: "All the Asian and Pacific breweries are performing strongly and Foster's is one of the fastest growing premium beer brands in these markets. We are commited to Asia as a major growth market for Foster's lager."
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