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Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

Japan. Asahi Europe appoints head of legal from SABMiller as brewing deal finalises

Following its acquisition of SABMiller's well-known European beer brands, Asahi Europe has appointed the brewer's group senior counsel commercial Edward Perks as its head of legal and company secretary.

asahiJapanese beer giant Asahi made a €2.55bn bid to acquire SABMiller's brands such as Peroni and Grolsch in February as SABMiller completes its mega-merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).

Newly-appointed Perks has one direct report, a legal counsel working alongside him, and works closely with the existing legal teams for Peroni and Grolsh. He had been at SABMiller for more than four years, joining from Hogan Lovells.

Only a month after the acquisition was finalised, Perks is yet to choose the company's lead advisers but Allen & Overy remains a preferred choice. The Magic Circle firm advised Asahi on the SABMiller divestment, is its largest acquisition to date, with a team led by corporate partner Richard Hough. London employment partner Sarah Henchoz, banking partner Trevor Borthwick, transitional services partner Jim Ford, antitrust partner Alasdair Balfour and tax partner Lydia Challen also worked on the deal.

Perks told Legal Business: 'This is a really exciting opportunity to be involved in a company that's a mixture of a start-up with fantastic brands and assets being brought together. We're setting up and doing things for the first time. There's a huge amount of energy here, particularly on the back of a very lengthy divestment process.'

Perks' move comes as it was revealed SABMiller's general counsel John Davidson will stand down when the merger is complete, following a review by AB InBev with up to 35 staff in the UK-based legal team to be made redundant.

Those affected include company secretary and deputy GC Stephen Shapiro, who is responsible for managing the internal commercial legal function; deputy GC for M&A, Stephen Jones; and deputy GC for regulatory and industry affairs, John Fraser, who devises and implements global regulatory strategies for the company.

2 Ноя. 2016



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