Editor's Viewpoint

By: Olly Wehring

The just-drinks leader, written by the just-drinks leader.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller - Here's what's going to happen next - Editor's Viewpoint 7 Oct 2015

We finally have some numbers to play with in Anheuser-Busch InBev's tussle with SABMiller. Add in a deadline that is only days away, and we've got ourselves our own drinks industry cliffhanger going on.

Will a sexed-up SABMiller tempt AB InBev to reach for its wallet? - Editor's viewpoint 6 Oct 2015

It's all too much to happen on one day for this to be a coincidence, surely? Is SABMiller showing a bit of leg to Anheuser-Busch InBev while simultaneously whispering “higher, higher” in its suitor's ear? That's what two developments today suggest.

Is Brown-Forman at the end of the Southern Comfort road? - Editor's Viewpoint 5 Oct 2015

Much as Brown-Forman would not be drawn on reports last week that its Southern Comfort whiskey liqueur has been put up for sale, the brand's performances of late suggest that the end is, if not already upon it, then just around the corner.

Editor's Viewpoint - AB InBev and SABMiller – We (all) told you so 16 Sep 2015

Today's confirmation that Anheuser-Busch InBev is exploring a bid for SABMiller will have come as a surprise to precisely nobody in the global beer industry. And, while it is by no means a done-deal, there's a certain sense of inevitability about it that many have felt for quite a while now.

Editor's Viewpoint - Has Diageo added Beer to its 'Non-Core' List? 28 Jul 2015

Diageo's exit from its beer joint-venture in South Africa and Namibia comes at the same time as observers are considering what else the company defines as non-core to its business. The move suggests to many – and, initially, to me also – that beer is next on the group's non-core list.

Editor's Viewpoint - Is Diageo approaching its "Et tu, Brute" Moment? 24 Jul 2015

It would be very easy to get carried away by the latest stirrings from Diageo over in the US. Indeed, when the Securities & Exchange Commission comes knocking, it would take a particularly ignorant person to not get carried away. But, is this as big a deal as it at first seems?

Editor's Viewpoint - Diageo CFO to North America? Do the Math 1 Jul 2015

Yesterday's appointment news from Diageo has echoes of a similar HR switch at SABMiller two years ago - a question of perceived suitability.

Editor's Viewpoint - The Scotch Dilemma: The Whisky of the Ages or The Whisky of the Age? 2 Jun 2015

I remember the occasion well: It was a warm, summer's day five years ago, when Pernod Ricard's Chivas Brothers division hosted me and many of my peers at its London offices to unveil a new marketing push for its Scotch whisky range.

Editor's Viewpoint - Are Coca-Cola Co, Anheuser-Busch InBev Approaching a FIFA Crossroads? 28 May 2015

The footballing world may be in turmoil today, but the drinks companies with more than a passing interest in the beautiful game seem determined not to be swept up by the latest scandal to hit FIFA. For now.

Editor's Viewpoint – Can We Blame Diageo for Not Acting Sooner on Mallya? 27 Apr 2015

It's not every day that one can accuse the world's biggest spirits producer of being a bit stupid, but my peers in India are making hay today, doing just that. But, before wading in against Diageo and the call by its United Spirits unit in India for chairman Vijay Mallya to stand down, ask yourself this one question: What difference does it make?

Editor's Viewpoint - Is Diageo on the Brink of a Brain Drain? 17 Apr 2015

Another day, another drinks executive stepping down “to explore new opportunities”. Usually, this is code for “is leaving to join one of our competitors in a slightly better-paid position”. But, with nowhere to go to yet, Andy Fennell's departure from Diageo is a strange one, especially as he has been held up internally as the 'next big thing'.

Editor's Viewpoint – Heineken's move for Pivovarna Lasko: Because It's There 14 Apr 2015

Nine months after Pivovarna Lasko hung out the 'for sale' sign, Heineken has emerged as the Slovenian firm's favoured suitor – or should that be saviour?

Editor's Viewpoint – Kicking Anheuser-Busch InBev/SABMiller 'Mega-Merger' Down the Road 26 Mar 2015

Many industry observers will have linked yesterday's major food M&A story with the ongoing rumbles around Anheuser-Busch InBev's widely-expected move for SABMiller. Shareholders of the two brewers clearly did the same, with the pair seeing their share prices fall markedly today.

Editor's Viewpoint - Will Coca-Cola's Image Shake-Up Set it Free? 5 Mar 2015

I have to take my hat off to the Western European divisions of The Coca-Cola Co. By bringing together the marketing and packaging for the group's namesake brand together with its healthier brethren, the units will finally be able to indirectly say what they've been itching to say – but daren't – for at least the last few years.

Comment - Editor's Viewpoint - The End of the Road for Carlsberg's CEO 18 Feb 2015

The announced departure of a company's CEO on the same day as the reporting of a near-20% fall in full-year profits usually looks pretty black and white. But, there is far less of a sword-falling case to conclude when it comes to Carlsberg today.

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