By Andy Young

Asahi Group's president Akiyoshi Koji, has ruled out buying SABMiller's Eastern European beer brands, saying the company will instead focus on its Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime purchase.

Earlier this month AB InBev said it would be selling the Eastern European brands including Pilsner Urquell, Tyskie and Dreher as part of its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its takeover of SABMiller.

AB InBev has previously put the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands up for sale and although Asahi will be buying those, if the takeover is approved, the Japanese brewer will not be extending its purchase.

Speaking in a recent interview Koji said: "We have been studying them but we won't raise our hand to buy."

He added that the company will instead focus on extending the sales of the three brands that it has bought.

Asahi's three-brand acquisition is conditional on AB InBev's takeover gaining regulatory approval and is just one of many sell-offs the brewing giant has planned as part of acquiring SABMiller. The brewer has sold SABMiller’s share in CR Snow, which brews the world’s biggest selling beer, as well as its share in MillerCoors to Molson Coors.

Koji added that he did not feel threatened by the potential new mega-brew company, as Asahi plans to focus on premium brands. But, he did say that he has concerns over the new company's hops and malt purchasing power.

"We need to make sure we have sustainable access to ingredients," Koji said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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