Blog: Call my bluff
Chris Brook-Carter | 27 July 2004
Ian Molson, an ex-board member of Molson, is apparently in talks with other international brewers, according to press reports, as part of his plan to deliver a competing C$4 bln buyout plan for the company.
Both Heineken and SABMiller have been linked to these talks.
But how seriously these rumours should be taken is debatable. "Don't believe everything you read in the press," one contact close to the situation told just-drinks today. "It is a hard sell to get anyone to buy Molson at the moment because its a huge turnaround project."
This corporate battle is fast becoming characterised by bluff and brinkmanship.
The tone has been set by claims by Coors CEO Leo Kiely that he would pull out of the current distribution deal with Molson should the Canadian brewer fall into other hands. An existing joint-venture marketing deal allows Molson to brew and sell Coors Light in Canada. Losing that deal would cost the Canadian brewer millions.
A number of analysts already believe Kiely is bluffing and his comments have sparked some great reactions in the Canadian press, particularly one article in the Globe and Mail.
Bluffing, bluffing, bluffing," said David Hartley, an analyst at First Associates Investments in Toronto.
"It's despicable," one anonymous Molson shareholder was quoted as saying. The two CEOs "are just trying to blow smoke to get it out there in the press . . . I think it's ridiculous."
They may have a point. After all, the deal has become almost as important to Coors. Coors Light holds around 8.5% of the market in Canada and the alternatives to the Molson distribution deal do not add up. The US brewer could export to Canada - an expensive option. Or, it could set up its own breweries in the country - again expensive. Or it could find another distributor - but who?
Paul Walsh just can't stay away from the drinks industry....
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
- Ten questions for Diageo - Analysis
- Have spirits companies forgotten the mainstream?
- How craft beer has shattered its US shackles
- New CEO sparks optimism at Coca-Cola - Analysis
- Ashwagandha - The next functional drinks trend?
- Moet Hennessy unaffected by LVMH Dior buy
- BrewDog moves into spirits with LoneWolf launch
- Portman Group heads to Tesco for new chief exec
- Johnnie Walker Bourbon Cask & Rye Finish - NPD
- William Grant names Europe & NA Travel Retail head
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Champagne and sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Craft Beer: Coming of Age or Past Its Prime?
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report