Asahi Gets Approval To Buy Out Iconic Carlton & United Breweries
Japanese beer giant Asahi has been given the green light to buy out the Australian-based company, Carlton & United Breweries.
On Thursday, the Foreign Investment Review Board approved Asahi’s takeover of CUB from international brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).
The $16 billion takeover will be completed on June 1.
"Asahi Beverages welcomes the Foreign Investment Review Board's approval of Asahi's acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)," Asahi Beverages said in a statement.
"This approval represents the conclusion of the regulatory review process and all of the regulatory conditions to closing the transaction have now been satisfied.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also gave its approval for the takeover after Asahi agreed to divest two of its beer brands and three of its cider brands.
Asahi agreed to sell Strongbow, Bonamy’s and Little Green ciders along with the Stella Artois and Beck’s beer brands, and the ACCC said it would approve any future buyer for these assets.
“The ACCC was concerned that without the divestments, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the cider market and remove a vigorous and effective competitor in the beer market,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“Without the sale of five beer and cider brands including Strongbow and Stella Artois, the combined Asahi-CUB company would have accounted for two thirds of cider sales in Australia, and owned the two largest cider brands, Somersby and Strongbow.”
Founded in Melbourne in 1907, CUB produces some of Australia’s most iconic beers such as Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Pure Blonde.
CUB was acquired by the Belgium company AB InBev in 2016 but its headquarter remained in Melbourne.
Asahi and AB InBev agreed on the multi-billion takeover of CUB last July.
At the time, CUB confirmed the takeover in a statement and said the opportunity allows Asahi to "commercialise the portfolio of AB InBev’s global and international brands in Australia”.
The buyout would give Asahi about 48.5 per cent share of the beer market in Australia, with 45 per cent coming from CUB products.