EU approves Carlsberg's takeover

Related tags Carlsberg European union

The EU commission has approved Carlsberg's takeover of the German
brewer Holsten-Brauerei. The approval places the company one step
closer to the profitable German market writes Danny Vincent.

The approval was announced Tuesday night and it follows the German competition authority approvals in late February.

Carlsberg is to sell some of its Holsten assets as part of the deal. The Koenig-Brauerei and Licher Privatbrrauerie breweries will be sold to the Bitburger Group, the company says.

Holsten put itself up for sale in July 2003 claiming that it was unable to compete on the German market. It stated that it was looking for a partner to help develop it business.

Carlsberg following the completion of the deal is set to be the fifth largest brewery in Germany, claiming that the acquisition will strengthen its north German sector which is key as it close to the company's Scandinavian stronghold.

Voluntary public offers for the remaining of Holsten shares will expire on Thursday, the German company said.

Carlsberg estimates that the acquisition will add €521 million to its sales in 2004, and the cost synergies are expected to be €7 million in 2004.

The German beer market is the largest in Europe. Germans consume more than 100 million hl a year and their consumption accounts for more than 30 per cent of total consumption in Western Europe.

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