Heineken increases grip on Polish beer market

Regional Browar Namysłów purchased for €117m Heineken's Polish operation, Grupa Żywiec, has moved to increase its share of Browar Namysłów, a brewery headquartered in western Poland, near Wrocław. The Dutch multinational already controlled 60% of the company but is now spending zl500m to take total ownership. Namysłów brands Braniewo and Zamkowe will now take their place alongside Żywiec, Warka and Tatra in the local Heineken portfolio. Heineken currently holds second position in the tight...
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Financial woes at AB InBev

Megabrewer slashes payout to shareholders Last week, AB InBev announced it would be cutting the dividend paid to its shareholders by 50% this year, a move which caused the already poorly-performing stock to instantly drop a further 10% in value. The company is still carrying a debt of $109 billion following its acquisition of SAB Miller in 2016, and reducing the dividend is one way in which the management hopes to ensure stability and longevity. Chief Financial Officer Felipe Dutra added t...
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AB InBev increases ecommerce activity

Australian acquisition follows similar purchases in Colombia and UK ZX Ventures, the disruption arm of AB InBev, has bought Australian drinks retailer BoozeBud for an undisclosed sum. An announcement today on the website of Australian subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries emphasised the improvement in customer experience which is the driving force behind the move: a push to make online beer shopping easier and more attractive. AB InBev has invested in a number of projects around the wo...
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Kirin acquires FourPure

Bermondsey microbrewery is the second London brewer to sell to a multinational in recent weeks. Japanese drinks giant Kirin, via its Australian subsidiary Lion, has purchased outright the south London microbrewer FourPure for an undisclosed sum. This follows the minority investment of Heineken in fellow London craft brewer Beavertown, announced last month. While this is Lion's first UK acquisition, it has experience of the craft beer market, having previously taken ownership of Australia's Lit...
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Heineken takes minority stake in Beavertown

£40m investment will fund tenfold expansion and new visitor experience. In a blog post on the Beavertown website today, the north London brewery's founder Logan Plant announced new investment by Heineken in his company. The possible deal had been subject to much rumour and speculation in recent weeks. The arrangement is described as "arm's length", and Plant stresses that Beavertown's essential operational independence will not be compromised. He states that this desire to pursue the compa...
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Farmers accuse AB InBev of reneging on grain price deal

Formal complaint lodged with South African Competition Commission Reuters has reported that Grain SA, the South African grain farmers' lobby group, has filed a complaint with the local competition regulator against AB InBev over the price paid for the 2018 grain harvest. AB InBev acquired South Africa's largest brewer SABMiller in 2016. The deal was approved by the South African authorities on the condition that existing agreements with suppliers would be honoured. Now AB InBev has advised fa...
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Pernod Ricard enters craft beer market with Irish purchase

Move follows success of beer-aged whiskey project French multinational Pernod Ricard has announced its acquisition of Irish brewery Eight Degrees. This is the company's first foray into the beer market anywhere in the world. Pernod Ricard has long been a major operative in the drinks industry in Ireland, owning leading whiskey brands including Jameson, Midleton and Redbreast through the Irish Distillers conglomerate which it purchased in 1988. In recent years it has released Jameson whiske...
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Heineken invests in third South African brewery

Jack Black's cites distribution as the main factor behind the agreement. Heineken has purchased a minority stake in Cape Town craft brewer Jack Black's marking the Dutch giant's third South African acquisition in twelve months. During 2017 it also purchased stakes in Soweto Brewing company and Stellenbrau. The partial-acquisition model followed in the Jack Black's deal is similar to one Heineken recently undertook with Brixton Brewery in London. Announcing the acquisition on the Jack Black...
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AB InBev sets sights on big data

Brewer acquires beverage analytics startup. Israeli beer analytics company WeissBeerger has been acquired outright by AB InBev in a deal reportedly worth $80m. The Tel Aviv-based company was founded in 2011 and utilises Internet of Things (IoT) technology to collect and present real-time information to brewers and bar owners. As well as volume data collected from "smart taps", the WeissBeerger system can also monitor beer quality via temperature sensors, freshness monitoring and "sanitation r...
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New social responsibilities for AB InBev brands

"Elevate" programme commits High End portfolio to consumer-friendly goals. World's largest brewer AB InBev announced today the creation of a new social development programme for The High End, its portfolio of 11 previously independent American beer and cider brands. This initiative, titled Elevate, has four principal goals: Inclusion of a date of minimum duration ("best before") on all beers Power all breweries 100% with renewable energy by 2020 while cutting water usage by 20% Com...
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