The Bavaria Brewery is a small operation serving the local market in St. Petersburg. Although Sun Interbrew said that the decision "was taken in the context of a further optimisation of the company's brewing footprint in Russia," the move will have puzzled some in the industry in view of the company's acquisitive streak.
However, in an interview with Dow Jones, United Financial Group market analyst Alexei Krivoshapko explained that Bavaria did not really fit Sun Interbrew's investment profile. He said that in his opinion the sale was a good move on the part of Sun Interbrew as "Bavaria is a brewery with no national brands, with a small share on the local market in the cheap beer segment and old equipment - so it was not very valuable".
Although Sun Interbrew has sold its stake in Bavaria, it says that Bavaria will continue to produce certain products on its behalf for an agreed period of time. Sun Interbrew added that it had felt a responsibility for the employees of the brewery, which is why it chose to sell the operations to the management.
Sun Interbrew added that its CEO Joseph Strella would maintain his seat on the Bavaria's board of directors until the next annual shareholders' meeting.