SABMiller acquires US importation rights for Grolsch
14 May 2008
SABMiller plc announces that it has reached agreement in principle with Anheuser-Busch to transfer the US importation rights for the Grolsch brand to SABMiller’s subsidiary, Miller Brewing Company. The transfer is subject to the negotiation of definitive legal agreements which the parties expect to be finalised in the next few weeks. The financial terms of the transfer are not being disclosed.
Anheuser-Busch acquired the US distribution rights to the Grolsch brand in February 2006, prior to SABMiller’s subsequent acquisition of the Dutch brewer Royal Grolsch N.V. which was completed in February 2008. In 2007, Grolsch imports into the US grew to approximately 215,000 hectolitres*.
Tom Long, Miller Brewing Co. President and CEO, commented:
“We are delighted to have acquired the US rights to Grolsch, which is a terrific brand steeped in nearly 400 years of heritage. With Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and now Grolsch, we will offer some of the best and most prestigious European beers to our customers and consumers.”
The agreement will allow Grolsch access to Miller Brewing Company’s network of around 450 distributors, who will have the opportunity to add the iconic Dutch brand to their businesses. Imported beers have grown at nearly 10% p.a. for the last three years and now make up 15% of the US beer market*.
* Canadean Wisdom database
In addition to Grolsch Premium Lager, the deal also incorporates the entire Grolsch brand line-up, including Grolsch Amber Ale, Grolsch Light Lager and Grolsch Blonde Lager.
Grolsch’s provenance, unique taste profile and existing premium positioning will play a highly complementary role in Miller’s brand portfolio, which has the scale and reach to grow the Grolsch brand across the US.
SABMiller also announces that with effect from Monday 12 May 2008, its Australian joint venture, Pacific Beverages (Pty) Limited, began the sale and distribution of the Grolsch brand in Australia, thereby adding another significant premium beer brand to Pacific Beverages’ growing premium beer portfolio in Australia.
About SABMiller plc
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 Grolsch, 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 US$3,154 million adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue of US$18,620 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
This announcement is available on the company website: www.sabmiller.com
Grolsch is a company with a rich tradition that goes back to 1615. The focal point of Grolsch’s commercial activities lies in the Netherlands, Grolsch’s historic home market. However, important international markets for Grolsch include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand. Grolsch is focused on targeting the premium segment with the Grolsch brand as its main product.
In the year to 31 December 2007, Grolsch reported turnover of €332.9 million and net profit of €20 million. Total worldwide sales volumes were 3.3 million hectoliters (hls), comprising 1.6 million hls of domestic volumes in the Netherlands, and 1.7 million of international volumes. Grolsch has approximately a 15% market share in the Netherlands, where it operates from one brewery in Enschede. Its main domestic brands include Grolsch Premium Pilsner, which represents approximately 90% of total volumes in the Netherlands. Grolsch achieves approximately 74% of its international sales volumes in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand through a network of alliances.
For more information on Koninklijke Grolsch N.V., visit the company's website: www.koninklijkegrolsch.nl or www.royalgrolsch.com.
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