Blog: King of beers deposed, but so what?
Chris Brook-Carter | 5 March 2004
One of the biggest questions that seems to have arisen from the confusion that has followed the proposed creation of InterbrewAmbev, is how it will affect the current world's number one brewer Anheuser-Busch.
Most obviously, the deal is going to cost A-B bragging rights to the title of the world's largest brewer, as it wil be relegated to the silver medal spot in terms of global volumes.
However, of more concern to A-B and investors is how the US giant will respond, firstly, to having missed out on a golden opportunity to tie up with AmBev itself, and secondly, to the creation of such a giant on its doorstep.
The investment community so far seems split, although there is certainly no sign of panic from either A-B or its supporters. Of major concern is A-B's reluctance to really throw its hat into the consolidation ring. Yes, it has taken small stakes in overseas brewers, but, while it is doing so, its competitors are fast catching it up by forging mega deals such as this one, or the acquisition of Miller Brewing by SABMiller.
Furthermore, InterbrewAmBev cuts off another potential alleyway to growth and once again highlights Anheuser's reliance on the US for profits.
The deal is "a clear loss for Anheuser-Busch," said Andrew Conway, beverage analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York.
That said, in a research note yesterday Mark Swartzberg, an analyst with Legg Mason, wrote: "If completed, the proposed Interbrew-AmBev combination relegates the king of beers to being king only of the global profit pool. A-B would continue to have the largest share of the global beer profit pool. But, on a volume basis, A-B would become the number-two global brewer behind the proposed InterbrewAmBev."
He went on: "But all scale is not created equally, and the proposed combination is of limited consequence to the current A-B's future cashflows and the certainty ascribable to realizing those cashflows, in our view. A-B continues to hold the distant share of the global beer profit pool, and the proposed combination brings little, if any, lasting top-line synergies to either party's US and Mexico business, where A-B makes its money. Nor does the combination represent a material change to the competitive landscape in China, an important cashflow driver for a future generation of A-B shareholders."
No, this is not PepsiCo's new ad slogan for its Mountain Dew brand....
Major wine players flocked to China ready for online giant Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival, which took place on 9 September....
In May, Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, called Vietnam the "poster child" for international beer thanks to strong demographics and growing demand....
Heineken is known for its flashy adverts. Now the brewer has given the star treatment to a new recruitment drive with a glamorous and highly-persuasive ad that, quite frankly, had the staff here at...
- How the can has a part to play in beer's future
- The Future of Cocktails - Consumer Trends
- Will Brexit make a winner out of Travel Retail?
- What do US wholesalers think of spirits trends?
- Coke Life - Coca-Cola's niche soda - Comment
- Diageo Australia's commercial head to step down
- Diageo reveals revival plan for former factory
- US hits AB InBev with US$6bn fine over India sales
- William Grant sees 2015 sales, profits lift
- Stoli Group CEO Rob Cullins to step down
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends