CCA’s Fiji Brewery deal done
By James Atkinson
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has finalised the acquisition of the Fiji Brewery and distillery, previously owned by Foster’s, through the purchase of an 89.6 per cent shareholding in Foster’s Group Pacific Limited (FGPL) for about $58 million.
Confirmation of the Fiji deal follows CCA's recent announcement of a $46 million brewing joint venture with the Casella family.
The assets acquired include the brewery, with facilities in Suva and Lautoka, Fiji and Samoa, and the distillery, located in Lautoka – which produce Fiji Bitter and Bounty Rum.
CCA plans to invest up to $15 million into upgrading and expanding the facilities in order to lift the quality and capability of the plant in order to produce premium export quality beer and spirits.
CCA group managing director Terry Davis said: “We are delighted to acquire these businesses and the fantastic brands of Fiji Bitter and Bounty Rum, which are Fijian icons. With the scale and expertise we are able to bring to the business, we strongly believe they have enormous potential to be developed into high-quality export brands with a potential global market.
"We are not new to Fiji – we have operated a successful non-alcoholic beverages business in Fiji since 1993, and fully understand the great potential of ‘Brand Fiji.’ Fiji Bitter beer and Bounty Rum will complement our non-alcoholic portfolio, not just in Fiji, but in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and further afield."
Davis said CCA's investment will also provide a great platform for the Fijian brewery and distillery employees to grow their skills. Fijian customers and consumers will also benefit from the upgrade, as the products will be fresher and of higher quality.
The acquisition of the Fiji brewery and distillery will complement CCA’s alcohol strategy in the Pacific, where the company now has multi-year distribution agreements with international beer brands Grupo Modelo, Carlsberg and Molson Coors in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.
"Our alcohol strategy, which includes our 10 year agreement with Beam Inc, one of the world’s most successful and innovative premium spirits companies, is coming together well, and we are also looking forward to developing the spirit and ARTD (alcoholic ready-to-drink) brands in Fiji while waiting for the beer restraint in Australia to expire in about 15 months’ time," Davis said.
CCA said in a statement that it has no intention of making offers to acquire the minority 10.4 per cent shareholdings in FGPL. Any acquisition of the minority shareholdings would be subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of Fiji.