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Russia: Positions of Brewing Companies

The review contains an analysis of interim performance of brewers in the first half of 2019. There are rather dynamic changes behind a modest industry growth. Baltika is again experiencing a stage of volumes and market share slid due to competition with AB InBev Efes. Because of the price competition and presence expansion in the modern trade company #2. has come close to the leading position. At the same time sales of Heineken Russia have continued growing which makes the premium part of the portfolio heavier. The market premiumization trend had been also confirmed by import brands. MBC and Zavod Trekhsosenskiy have been the most successful among federal market players. The market share of independent regional brewers and Ochakovo have continued falling as they are being squeezed out by the market leaders at their competitive fields.

Ukrainian beer market 2019: companies and brands

In 2019 beer production and market have been still fluctuating about zero point. However, the past season was successful for brewers judging by the sales profitability. The price mix has improved due to rapid general market premiumization, as well as its particular aspect, the growth of import beer sales. By the season end AB InBev Efes improved its positions considerably. It turned out that consumers had not forgot Efes brands that had to leave the market, but started to recover rapidly. Against the stagnating market that meant sales decline of other companies, in the first place Carlsberg Group that most of all beneficiated from Efes exiting the market. PPB turned out to be stable to branding activity of its competitor and Obolon kept the same volumes and at the moment it is the absolute leader of the economy segment. The share growth of independent producers took place thanks to leading craft breweries, that so far do not have a big market weight, but they are rapidly gaining it.

Brewing industry in Kazakhstan 2019

During the first half of 2019, the majority of Kazakh brewers made their contribution into positive dynamics. Yet it was companies of the lower division, not the two transnational leaders that raised their production and sales. The shares of draft beer and aluminum can which is rapidly squeezing glass bottle out of the market, have been growing. The price segmentation has remained stable despite the substantial rise of retail prices and fluctuations of brand market shares, while the borders between segments have become blurred. The main events in the industry have been: the announced revision of the beer excise policy, launch of BeerKhan brand in the strong beer segment, and most important – purchasing assets of Shymkentbeer by Arasan.

Asahi seen as frontrunner to buy StarBev -sources

* Japan brewer tipped to buy east European beermaker StarBev
* Sale of CVC's StarBev could come within two weeks
* StarBev sale could raise about $3 bln for CVC Capital

By Victoria Howley and David Jones

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Japanese brewer Asahi is emerging as a frontrunner to buy eastern European brewer StarBev in a deal expected to fetch up to $3 billion for private equity owner CVC Capital Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The private equity group, which bought StarBev in December 2009, is gearing up to sell the business in around two weeks after receiving approaches from a number of global brewing groups, the people said.

"Asahi have put a big price on the table, and we would expect a resolution in around two weeks time," said one person involved in the sale process.

All parties either declined to comment or could not immediately be reached for comment.

CVC bought the business from the world's biggest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, calling it StarBev after its Czech beer Staropramen, and although AB-InBev has the "right of first offer," bankers and analysts believe it will not be tempted as it has its eyes on bigger beer markets.

The most interest in StarBev so far has come from Asahi, Carlsberg, SABMiller and AB-InBev, while other brewers such as Heineken and Molson Coors were less enthusiastic, the people said.

"We would expect a result for someone in the next two weeks, and all the talk is of Asahi," one of the people said.

Although the business is in countries like the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary and has been hit by recent weakness in eastern European economies, it is still seen as a long-term growth story in a rapidly consolidating global brewing world.

Other Japanese drinks groups Kirin and privately owned Suntory have shown less interest. Kirin bought Brazil's second biggest brewer Schincariol for nearly $4 billion last year, while Suntory is not keen on buying into European beer, the people added.

Asahi, the brewer of Japan's top-selling beer "Super Dry" has been on the acquisition trail buying up New Zealand ready-to-drink cocktail maker Independent Liquor last summer for $1.3 billion in its biggest ever deal, and in recent years has bought a stake in China's Tsingtao and the Australian business of Schweppes.

Last year, Asahi president Naoki Izumiya signalled more overseas deals were likely and, after looking in China, Asia and Oceania, it would search outside those areas as it aims for over 20 percent of its sales from foreign markets by 2015.


AB-InBev sold the business to cut its debts after buying U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008 for $52 billion, and analysts said it would be reluctant to buy it back as it does not have leading positions in the big eastern European beer markets of Romania and the Czech Republic.

The Belgium-based group makes around 80 percent of its profits from North and South America, controlling half the United States beer market and two-thirds of the Brazilian one, and these two areas with China and Russia are its key focus.

"We would be stunned if ABI were to buy back assets it sold to a private equity firm less than three years ago ... ABI has said its focus is on the U.S., Brazil and China, and we would not expect them to expand at this stage in central Europe," said Liberum Capital analyst Pablo Zuanic

Other European brewers like SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg would face anti-trust problems as all are major players in the region, with a SABMiller-StarBev combination potentially having a 63 percent market share of the Czech Republic beer market, 49 percent in Hungary and 39 percent in Romania.

SABMiller had considered linking up with its new Turkish ally Anadulo Efes to try and overcome anti-trust concerns but progress has been difficult. The London-based brewer swapped its Russian and Ukrainian operations for a 24 percent stake in Turkey's top brewer last year.

Amsterdam-based Heineken would have market shares of 44 percent in Romania, 46 percent in Hungary and 51 percent in Bulgaria in a StarBev linkup, while Denmark's Carlsberg would have 46 percent in Bulgaria, 76 percent in Serbia and 47 percent in Croatia, analysts have calculated.

The level of interest from trade buyers, means little scope for private equity to compete as they lack the level of potential costs savings a big brewer can achieve, analysts said.

CVC bought the business for around $2.2 billion with potential future payment of as much as $800 million based on CVC's return on its investment.

In Europe, the four brewing stocks closed higher, AB-InBev gained 1.6 percent to 51.21 euros, SABMiller was up 1.5 percent at 2,586 pence, Heineken edged forward 0.6 percent to 39.86 euros and Carlsberg advanced 0.7 percent to 442.30 crowns.

7 Мар. 2012



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