By Andy Young
Danish brewer Carlsberg will not be buying SABMiller brands Peroni or Grolsch, according to chairman Flemming Besenbacher.
Speaking to the Danish newspaper Berlingske, Besenbacher said that Carlsberg did not want to be a fast-growing brewer, it just wants to be a strong one.
"Acquisitions are no longer on the agenda for Carlsberg. This is because we are challenged on earnings," Besenbacher told the newspaper.
"Contrary to what has previously been communicated from Carlsberg, we want today to be large, we want to be strong. There was a time when Carlsberg had an ambition to be the fastest growing brewery but [with] developments in Russia [this] is no longer an ambition."
The comments point to a shift in Carlsberg's strategy, which also comes after Besenbacher replaced CEO Jorgen Buhl with Cees 't Hart in February 2015.
Besenbacher told Berlingske: "Cees ’t Hart is completely different type to Jorgen Buhl and it is also why he was employed. It is also easier for a new CEO to clean up than it is for the old one to clean up what he has put in the lake.
"Cees ’t Hart calls a spade a spade, for him, the glass half empty, while in [the past] Carlsberg may have had a tendency to think that it was half full."
Last month TheShout reported that AB InBev announced it would be looking to sell Peroni and Grolsch in order to help its takeover of SABMiller gain regulatory approval.
In December a spokesperson for AB InBev said: "In line with its commitment to promptly and proactively address potential regulatory considerations Anheuser-Busch InBev, in close cooperation with SABMiller, is exploring the sale of a number of SABMiller's European premium brands and related businesses.
"AB InBev will contact potential purchasers in the coming weeks to assess their interest in the Peroni and Grolsch brand families and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK."
Carlsberg had been widely tipped to be one of the potential buyers for Peroni and Grolsch, but after pulling out European giant Heineken or US beer maker Molson Coors are now thought to be favourites to acquire the brands.