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AUSTRALIA: Foster's buys 65% stake in RTD producer

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Carlton & United Breweries, the beer subsidiary of the Australian drinks and leisure conglomerate, Foster's Group Ltd, has acquired a 65% stake in BCB Beverages, a Victoria company specialised in the production of ready-to-drink beverage products, for A$13.4m (US$7.12m).

The acquisition includes some debt. The BCB Beverages management retains the remaining 35% of the company but these shares will also be acquired by CUB in three years as part of a management incentive initiative.

In addition to its RTD activities, BCB Beverages also produces soft drinks brands including Torquay water and Reef range. CUB is to use BCB's facilities to produce its existing RTD brands, which include Cougar Bourbon and The Black Douglas Scotch.

The move follows an announcement by Foster's CEO, Ted Kunkel, that the group would be looking to make acquisitions in the fast-growing RTD sector. "The purchase of this production facility further positions CUB to maximize on the growth opportunity in RTDs, which is currently the fastest growing alcohol sector in Australia," said CUB managing director James King.


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