Brewers' war ends as S&N agrees to sale plan

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Newcastle brown ale

It seems a case of third time lucky for Carlsberg and Heineken
after the board of UK-based brewer Scottish & Newcastle
(S&N) today agreed to an 800 pence per share deal for its
operations.

S&N has previously rejected two earlier offers, though claimed that the latest deal, which amounts to £7.8bn, fairly valued its global operations and brands. A successful completion of the purchase is expected to drastically shake up the global beer market with the two bidders acquiring a number of leading international brands. Under the newly formed entity Sunrise Acquisitions Limited, Heineken and Carlsberg will split S&N's assets, with the former, as planned, acquiring full control of the profitable Baltic Beverages Holdings (BBH) joint venture. Carlsberg said that BBH, which it had operated jointly with S&N since 2004, was a "key growth asset"​ due to its dominance in major markets such as Russia. The company will additionally take control of S&N's French, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese operations. For its part of the deal, Heineken will gain S&N's UK, Irish, Portuguese, Finnish, Belgian, US and Indian operations in a move it says will provide undisputed leadership in European beer production. The group will, as a result add a number of leading brands such as Strongbow cider and Newcastle Brown Ale to its portfolio. Sunrise acquisitions said that it would aim to complete a separation of S&N's assets as soon as possible, occurring no later than 12 months after completion of the sale. Calrsberg president Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said that the deal and in particular its capture of BBH, would transform the group's fortunes. "In a single step we have created the world's fastest growing global brewer,"​ he stated. "We now have full control of our destiny inRussiaand other BBH territories and I am truly excited about the new opportunities this will present to us." ​Heineken chairman Jean-François van Boxmeer said the deal served to drastically boost its presence in Europe, making it the market leader in the UK as well as the second largest brewer in markets like Portugal, Ireland, Finland and Belgium. "Our proven ability to create value from mature markets coupled with the step-change in revenue growth will drive our future expansion,"​ he stated. "I look forward to welcoming the Scottish & Newcastle employees into our business and learning from their unique experience and skills."

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