The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
Global hop marketA local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms.
Hop Market in RussiaGermany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.
SABMiller Discipline Tested by Foster Bid
SABMiller said yesterday it will continue to pursue Australia’s biggest brewer after Foster’s rejected a A$9.5 billion ($10 billion) offer at A$4.90 a share. London-based SABMiller may have to raise its offer by 8.2 percent to A$5.30 a share to secure a friendly takeover, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“They have a management ethos of not overpaying for an asset,” said Samar Chand, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London. “SABMiller will make another bid, but it won’t be a step-change increase from where we are now.”
Mackay has made more than two dozen acquisitions since he moved the company’s listing to London in 1999, though he’s passed on many of the industry’s biggest deals since 2008. He shunned buying the beer unit of Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB last year after rival Heineken NV (HEIA) paid up a price it deemed too high. Foster’s, the most profitable independent major brewer, would be his biggest purchase yet and add about half the Australian beer market to SABMiller’s portfolio.
“We expect SABMiller to return with a higher bid, though question whether it can meet our view of the board’s expectations,” said Andy Bowley, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., who estimated that Foster’s board wants an offer of A$5.40 to A$5.50 a share. He has a “hold” rating on Foster’s.
Foster’s shares rose about 14 percent to A$5.14, the most in 25 years, yesterday. SABMiller’s shares slid 79 pence, or 3.6 percent, to 2,103 pence in London trading, the biggest decline since Jan. 19. SABMiller stock has risen almost fivefold since the listed in London at 428 pence a share in 1999. Heineken shares have gained about 35 percent in that period.
The offer for Foster’s “is expensive already,” said Gerard Rijk, an analyst at ING Groep in Amsterdam. “You only have to look at the SABMiller share price to know that.”
SABMiller’s offer for Foster’s, which last month split off its wine business, values the company at about 11.8 times the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reported by the beer division last year. Nomura estimates that the average multiple for key transactions in the beer industry in the past five years was an enterprise value of 13 times earnings.
The bid “is the first step, and then they will start talks” with the Foster’s board, said Rijk. In past brewing transactions where the bidder’s first proposal was rejected, offers were accepted at about 10 to 15 percent higher than the original bid, he said. InBev NV raised its 2008 bid for Anheuser-Busch Cos. to $70 from $65 before gaining control of the Budweiser maker.
SABMiller has a higher exposure to emerging markets than most rivals and is therefore considered to have less to lose by increasing its exposure to developed markets. The percentage of earnings from markets outside the U.S. and western Europe would drop to about 70 percent after buying Foster’s from more than 80 percent now, Deutsche Bank AG analyst Jonathan Fell estimated.
“SABMiller, or another potential suitor, will need to offer above A$5 per share for the Foster’s board to recommend a bid to shareholders,” Nomura analysts including David Cooke said in a note to investors yesterday. Nomura estimates A$5.10 is fair value for the company and that potential buyers “could find it difficult to bid much further above A$5.10 per share given the subdued growth returns profile” of Foster’s.
An acquisition may boost SABMiller’s profit margins. Foster’s beer business had an operating margin of about 38 percent in the 2010 fiscal year, the company said in a presentation to investors in February. That compares with SABMiller’s profit margin of 22 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
SABMiller said the proposed takeover will be funded from existing resources and new debt facilities. The brewer plans to fund the bid with about $10 billion of debt, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. The company’s net debt to Ebitda ratio would increase to 3.6 times from 1.3 times, according to estimates by Ian Shackleton, an analyst at Nomura in London.
Acquiring Foster’s would give SABMiller access to a “resilient” economy in Australia, with increasing disposable income, CEO Mackay said yesterday. The company has a “sound understanding” of the Australian market, he said, and can improve revenue growth by selling more higher-priced beer.
The bid may spark a takeover battle for Foster’s. Japan’s Asahi Breweries Ltd. and Mexico’s Grupo Modelo SAB de CV are among rivals that may make offers, according to analysts. SABMiller may have to raise its bid by about 13 percent based on the price paid by Kirin Holdings Co. for Lion Nathan Ltd., Australia’s second-largest brewer, in 2009, said Dirk Van Vlaanderen, an analyst at Jefferies International in London.
“We expect SABMiller to return with a better offer given that the first offer, whilst looking to be reasonable on valuation, is by no means punchy,” Shore Capital analysts said in a note.
22 Jun. 2011