AUSTRALIA: Foster's wanders into the Lion's den
Lion Nathan chairman Doug Myers' family set up the company in New Zealand before expanding across the Tasman, and, with its Steinlager and LN brands, the company is the dominant Kiwi producer.
But from 1 September 2000, Foster's is creating a dedicated unit, which will aim to boost its poor 5% share of the Kiwi beer market.
The group will also up the alcohol content of Foster's from 4% ABV to 4.9% ABV - on a par with Foster's in other parts of the world - to compete with Steinlager.
Until now, New Zealand operations had been run out of Foster's Melbourne headquarters. Vice president Andrew Bonner is being moved from Australia to Auckland to run the new division.
"New Zealand had been run as a branch of Australia but now it will be run as an autonomous country with its own management team and presence in the market place," Bonner told just-drinks.com.
"We sell 100m pints around the world and most of that is at 4.9%. We are a global beer and it makes sense to make New Zealand the same."
But in reality New Zealand is a small, if dedicated, beer market. Foster's cannot expect huge returns from this new operation because there are simply not enough people in New Zealand to support many big brewers.
Analysts believe that Foster's move is motivated by a desire to distract Lion Nathan. Or it could even be good old-fashioned rivalry, with Foster's happy to merely annoy Myers.
Lion and Foster's are slugging it out in the Australian market and many expect them to carry that battle on throughout Asia as they expand their operations.
Whatever Foster's motivation it will have to be very smart to capture a larger part of the Kiwi market without wasting a fortune on marketing.
The global roll-out of InBev's Brazilian beer, Brahma, adds a third premium brand to the global brewer's international portfolio but some observers have suggested it's an unnecessary step which threat...
As one takeover story trundles on, another one has just moved up a gear....
The chief executive of Foster's believes the global premium wine industry is on the upturn....
Foster's Group Ltd is expected to announce that it is lifting its offer for fellow Australian Southcorp, transforming three months of corporate hostility into a friendly takeover....
Cobra Beer has launched an alcohol-free beer in South Africa, the UK and in its European and Asian export markets....
Shares in Southcorp and Foster's have been halted from trading, pending an announcement....
Southcorp's share price has dropped below the offer price made by Foster's for the first time today (18 April)....
Foster's Group is considering upping its bid for Southcorp prior to extending its offer once again....
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- 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