Beer category sees increased M&A activity in 2019

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

In beverages, soft drinks saw the most M&A activity; but beer saw the biggest increase in activity. Pic:getty/andreypopov
In beverages, soft drinks saw the most M&A activity; but beer saw the biggest increase in activity. Pic:getty/andreypopov

Related tags: Beer, M&A

The number of acquisitions in the beer category increased in 2019, according to Zenith Global’s mergers and acquisitions database.

The total number of food and drink transactions around the world broke records in 2019, with 789 registered on the database.​ This shows a considerable increase in activity when compared to 559 in 2014.

In beverages, beer and spirits both saw an increase in activity in 2019. In the beer category, 38 acquisitions were recorded, with just under half of these in the craft sector.

zenith global m and a database
Number of acquisitions by sector in 2019. Source: Zenith Global mergers and acquisitions database

Notable acquisitions in the beer category in 2019 included:

  • Asahi’s acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries​ from AB InBev in Australia (the acquisition is still being assessed by Australia's competition commission​)
  • Boston Beer Co’s acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewery in the US;
  • Asahi’s acquisition of Fuller, Smith & Turner​ in the UK (which includes premium brands such as London Pride ale, larger Frontier and Cornish Orchards cider);
  • Asahi’s acquisition of Balter Brewing Company​ in Australia (a craft brewery founded by professional surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson)
  • Kirin’s acquisition of America's fourth largest craft brewer New Belgium Brewing​ in the US (via Lion Little World Beverages)
  • AB InBev’s acquisition of Craft Brew Alliance​ in the US (remaining 68.8% stake)
  • Carlsberg’s acquisition of Cambrew in Cambodia (remaining 25% stake)

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