By Ian Neubauer

European mega-brewers SABMiller or Heineken are suspected of being the mysterious Deutsche Bank client who has snapped up tens of millions of Foster’s shares.

The two companies were fingered by the Financial Times of London after the German financial institution acquired 5.26 per cent of Foster’s shares on behalf of an unidentified investor.  

The Financial Times said the investor is likely working with Deutsche Bank “to win a seat at the table in the event Foster’s was broken up”.

Foster’s Takeover rumours have been rife following the resignation of former CEO Trevor O’Hoy and the launch of a strategic review in June.

The review is geared to deal with the company’s underperforming global wine business, which has been losing money hand over fist due to currency movements and flagging sales in the US — the number one importer of Australian wine.

The review will be finalised later this year, with Foster’s saying talk of a takeover or break-up of the company’s wine and brewing business units are basless and premature.

Foster’s shares have rallied strongly over the past few weeks, bolstered by the Deutsche Bank acquisition and last Friday’s (September 26) appointment of former non-executive board member, Ian Johnston, to the position of CEO.

The shares were trading at $5.78 at midday today (September 29) compared to $5.38 this time last week.
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The Shout Team

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

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