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FREE TO READ - just-drinks' Mergers & Acquisitions database - September 2019

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Here, just-drinks consolidates the M&A activity in the global drinks industry during September, a quieter month than usual for purchases and divestments, with Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition in wine leading the headlines.

Beer

Mahou San Miguel has taken majority control of US partner Founders Brewing Co. The Spanish brewer confirmed it has upped its stake in Michigan's Founders from 30% to 90%.

The owner of the Two Roots Brewing non-alcoholic cannabis beer brand has purchased Michigan craft brewer Rochester Mills Production Brewery. Lighthouse Strategies, which also owns the Cannabiniers Californian cannabis products maker, said the acquisition will help expand brewing and distribution capacity. 

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Soft drinks

US drinks firm The Alkaline Water Co has agreed to purchase celebrity-backed water brand AQUAhydrate. The deal, described as an "all-stock transaction" sees AQUAhydrate join The Alkaline Water Co's Alkaline88 brand.

Finland-based functional food and beverage business Func Food Group is to be acquired by Celsius Holdings, the US company behind the Celsius fitness drink brand, in a US$24.6m deal. Helsinki-headquartered Func Food has had Finland-based private-equity house Sentica Partners as its majority shareholder since 2014.

Coca-Cola HBC is to buy Italian bottled water company Acque Minerali for EUR88m (US$97m). The deal, which is expected to complete by the year's end, will expand the group's portfolio further beyond its core sodas.

Why Gen Z's interest in health & wellness should boost soft drinks innovation around Asian ingredients - Comment

This month, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the driving forces behind flavour migration in Asia-Pacific.

Spirits

Campari Group has agreed the purchase of rhum agricole producer Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs (BBS), owner of the Martinique brands Trois Rivières and La Mauny. The group signed off on the deal last month after it was first announced in July.

Eastside Distilling has added a high-end Tequila brand to its spirits portfolio, acquiring Azuñia Tequila from Intersect Beverage. The transaction will see Oregon-based Eastside pay up to US$14.7m for the Azuñia range of four expressions, depending on future performance.

Pernod Ricard breaks new boundaries with Chinese malt whisky distillery - Comment

The recent unveiling of Pernod Ricard Asia's plans to produce China's first domestically-sourced single malt whisky is undoubtedly a landmark moment in brown spirits. Category commentator Neil Ridley considers whether Chinese whisky could become a contender to the other 'world whiskies'.

Wine

Altia has acquired a stake in Finnish glögg producer Von Elk Co. The Helsinki-headquartered group, which already owns the Blossa glögg brand, confirmed the purchase of an unspecified minority holding in Von Elk early in the month.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's Australian subsidiary has purchased draught wine producer Riot Wine Co in the country. Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), which is due to be sold to Asahi later this year, confirmed in mid-September the acquisition of Riot Wine, which only sells wine in kegs and cans.

Pernod Ricard has reiterated its commitment to the wine category, despite long-standing speculation linking the group to a divestment of its wine brands.

Why do consumers find wine so... boring? - Comment

Our resident wine commentator, Chris Losh, has spent some time on 'the other side'. He's returned from his recent visit to the spirits world armed with some challenging advice for the wine trade.

Distribution

Pernod Ricard has increased the size of its e-commerce presence in Spain, with the purchases of two start-ups in the country in the past year. Almost nine months after acquiring a stake in African e-commerce platform Jumia, just-drinks has learned of a brace of similar transactions for Pernod in Spain. In August last year, the wine and spirits group snapped up Barcelona-based start-up Uvinum for an undisclosed price.

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Expert Analysis

Key Trends in Alcoholic Beverages: Powerful changes shaping the wine, beer, spirits and alcohol-free beverages industry

Key Trends in Alcoholic Beverages: Powerful changes shaping the wine, beer, spirits and alcohol-free beverages industry

Key Trends in Alcoholic Beverages: Powerful changes shaping the wine, beer, spirits and alcohol-free beverages industry...

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