Asahi to acquire Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime from SABMiller

By Frazer Jones
Mergers and acquisitions in the beer world approached a fever pitch in 2015, and that fever has not subsided with the entrance of a new year. The impend...

Mergers and acquisitions in the beer world approached a fever pitch in 2015, and that fever has not subsided with the entrance of a new year. The impending merger between AB InBev and SABMiller is one that comes with industry-wide consequences, in particular divestitures and a shuffling of brands from one parent company to another. This week Peroni, Grolsch, and Meantime Breweries are leaving the SABMiller nest, snapped up by Japanese brewing company Asahi for a cool $3 billion.

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Italian brewery Peroni has been in business since 1846 and a part of the SABMiller family since 2003; centuries-old Dutch brewery Grolsch came under the brand’s umbrella in 2008. The UK’s modern and craft-based Meantime Brewing Company was founded in 2000, and was one of SABMiller’s most recent acquisitions—the merger was announced less than a year ago in mid-2015. But while acquisitions like these helped SABMiller achieve its reach as the second largest brewing conglomerate in the world, they are an antitrust roadblock to a takeover by AB InBev. To solve this, Asahi is one of several businesses who will likely be stepping in to help AB InBev and SABMiller while simultaneously expanding their own portfolios.

This acquisition fits perfectly into Asahi’s long-term strategy for growth. “Asahi, as a comprehensive beverage and food business group with the alcoholic beverages business at its core, has set its future vision that, domestically, it will be an industry leader focused on high value addition and internationally, it will establish a distinct position as a global player that leverages strengths originating in Japan,” reads a press statement from the company. “Through this proposed acquisition, Asahi aims to expand its growth platform in Europe and become a global player with a distinct position, leveraging the distribution network of the Target Business to maximize synergies through increasing the presence of its flagship ‘Asahi Super Dry’ brand.”

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For a full breakdown of the proposition, check out the full Asahi statement. Because the acquisition will run in tandem with AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller, its completion timetable ultimately depends on the timetable and completion of the latter merger. 

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