DENMARK: Market turmoil fails to upset Carlsberg purchase potential

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Carlsberg has said that its acquisition strategy remains unaffected by current turmoil on the global credit markets.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday (21 August), outgoing CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said that the brewer would still be able to scrape together around DKK10bn (US$1.81bn) to make a purchase, should it choose to.

"We have a very healthy business and have flexibility with our shares," Smedegaard Andersen told reporters.

In May, Carlsberg was given clearance by the Danish authorities for leading shareholder the Carlsberg Foundation to dilute its stake in the brewer, whilst maintaining control of voting rights. By loosening its grip on Carlsberg's share structure, the move would free up around DKK45bn in new capital, the company said at the time.

Despite showing an interest in Vin & Sprit's wine and distiller units should the Swedish company be the subject of a sale by the country's Government, as well as continuing speculation that it could buy Scottish & Newcastle, Carlsberg has not specified any particular takeover target thus far.

In June, Smedegaard Andersen said he will leave Carlsberg in December to join Danish transport company AP Moller Maersk. The brewer is currently in the process of finding a replacement for Andersen, who has held the position for six years.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Carlsberg

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