SABMiller and Coca-Cola Amatil acquire Bluetongue Brewery in Australia
5 December 2007
SABMiller plc today announces that its joint venture with Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCA), Pacific Beverages Pty Limited (Pacific Beverages) has acquired Bluetongue Brewery Pty Limited (Bluetongue), the Australian premium brewer.
Bluetongue was established in 2003 and operates from a brewery near Newcastle, New South Wales with an annual capacity in excess of 50,000 hectolitres. Its premium beer brands include Bluetongue Premium Lager, Bluetongue Premium Light, Bluetongue Traditional Pilsner, Bluetongue Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Bondi Blonde.
In its four years of operation Bluetongue has had significant success in the premium beer category and in 2004 Bluetongue Premium Lager was awarded New Product of the Year at the Australian Liquor Awards. The operations and product range have been progressively expanded and in the year to November 2007 the company has delivered sales growth of over 70 per cent.
The acquisition will give Pacific Beverages greater access to the Australian premium beer market which has grown at a rate of around 15 per cent each year for the last six years. Ari Mervis, Managing Director SABMiller Asia, said, “The Australian premium beer market is growing strongly year-on-year. Pacific Beverages is well placed to capitalise on this trend and our expertise in premium brand management together with CCA’s distribution strength means that we can accelerate the development of the Bluetongue brands and grow our share of the premium beer market in Australia.”
Terry Davis, the Group Managing Director of CCA, said, “The acquisition of Bluetongue Brewery adds a fast-growing and uniquely Australian premium beer brand to Pacific Beverages’ existing portfolio of imported premium beers and fits perfectly with our strategy of developing our presence in the Australian premium beer market.”
Sales of Pacific Beverages’ existing premium imported beer brands have grown strongly since their introduction in 2006. For the full year, it is expected that volumes will grow by more than 100 per cent over the prior year when the brands were managed under other distribution arrangements. This growth has been achieved through targeted brand advertising, outlet execution, and the benefits of expanding availability through CCA’s large customer network. In November 2007 SABMiller’s Miller Chill, a chelada-style light beer was launched in the Australian market and early consumer uptake has been encouraging.
The value of the gross assets acquired is approximately A$14 million (US$12.3 million). The purchase price is not being disclosed.
Note to editors
Pacific Beverages is the 50:50 joint venture between Coca-Cola Amatil Limited and SABMiller plc to sell and distribute imported premium beer in Australia. Pacific Beverages imported SABMiller’s international premium brands, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Chill and Pilsner Urquell into the Australian market.
Pacific Beverages also sells and distributes the premium spirit portfolio of global premium spirits distributor Maxxium. Major brands include Jim Beam, Canadian Club, Remy Martin, Cointreau, The Famous Grouse and ABSOLUT VODKA.
Based in Newcastle, New South Wales, Bluetongue was established in November 2003. Premium beer brands include Bluetongue Premium Lager, Bluetongue Premium Light, Bluetongue Traditional Pilsner and Bluetongue Alcoholic Ginger Beer, and Bondi Blonde. The company currently employs 47 people.
Bluetongue’s name originates from the blue-tongued lizard, one of Australia’s favourite native creatures. They are about 30cm long, have a large fierce looking head and are easily recognised by their bright blue tongue which they stick out to warn off predators. Blue-tongues are often found basking in the sun in the Australian bush and in backyards across suburban Australia.
SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group’s brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world. In the year ended 31 March 2007, the group reported $3,154 million adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue of $18,620 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
For more information on SABMiller plc, visit the company's website: www.sabmiller.com
Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCA)
CCA is the largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the world’s top give Coca-Cola bottlers. CCA operates across five countries – Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. In the past six years CCA has diversified its portfolio of products to include water, sports drinks, fruit juices, coffee, iced teas and packaged ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable products.
CCA produces the Australian market’s number one cola brand – Coca-Cola; the number one non-sugar colas, diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero; the number one bottled water brand Mount Franklin and the number one sports beverage; Powerade Isotonic.
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