GERMANY: Krombacher in western expansion

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German brewer Krombacher is looking to bolster its position in the west of the country with the acquisition of smaller local rival A. Rolinck.

Krombacher, which is Germany's fifth-largest brewer by volume, said today (9 January) that it has bought Rolinck for an undisclosed sum.

A spokesman for Krombacher, based in the town of Krombach in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said the acquisition of Rolinck was central to the company's strategy.

Rolinck, based in Münster, around 150km north-west of Cologne, is located in one of Krombacher's key markets, the spokesman said.

"It's one of the key regions in terms of selling beer in the country. Rolinck also has a pilsner that is very strong in the region and we want to grow that brand," the spokesman told just-drinks.

Rolinck produces around 180,000 hectolitres of beer a year, generating turnover of around EUR20m (US$26m). However, the Krombacher spokesman said Rolinck's owners had decided to sell the brewery after witnessing a slump in turnover in recent years.

Krombacher's annual volumes stand at around 5.6m hectolitres, giving the brewer a 5% share of the German beer market. The brewer leads Germany's pilsner segment, a position that it is keen to build on, the spokesman said.

"We want to extend our market share in the pilsner segment and our position in beer mixes, which are very popular in Germany. Last year, we bought the brand and distribution rights to the Schweppes brand so we also want to play a role in the non-alcoholic drinks business."

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