Between $7 billion and $10 billion could be spent within the next 18 months on mergers and acquisitions in the drinks industry, according to investment bank CSFB.

Last week's Beck's & Co acquisition by Belgian brewer Interbrew brought the total M&A spend since the creation of Diageo to $17.8billion and there are more to come, analyst Michael Bleakley told just-drinks.com.

He believes four, possible, major deals are still on the table; German brewer BBAG ($1 billion); Australia's Southcorp Wines ($1.5 billion); Kendall-Jackson wine estates ($1.3 billion); and Foster¹s Brewing Company ($6 billion).

"The frenzy over acquisitions is dying down but there are still opportunities, particularly in premium wine. Companies are still desperately seeking premium wine brands because they are mass produced, incur minimal overheads and deliver high margins. Bowman is prepared to pay big multiples, 16 times EBITDA for Montana, because he knows the returns will be worth it," Bleakley said.

DEALS DONE (June 1999 - Feb 2001)
Heineken acquires Spanish brewer Cruzcampo $672m
South African Breweries acquires Czech brewer Pilsner Urquell $630m
San Miguel acquires Portuguese brewer Centrale $517m
Scottish & Newcastle acquires Kronenbourg $2.31 billion
Interbrew acquires Whitbread Brewing Company $560m
Interbrew acquires Bass Brewers $3.2 billion
Diageo/Pernod Ricard acquires Seagram Wine and Spirits $8.1 billion
Interbrew acquires Beck¹s & Co $1 billion
Other deals (including Mildara Blass acquiring Beringer Wine Estates) $800m

Possible acquisitions in next 18 months...

BBAG $1 billion
Southcorp Wines $1.5 billion
Kendall-Jackson wine estates $1.3 billion
Foster's Brewing Company $6 billion

Mergers and Acquisitions Report 2000
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