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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. 

Ends

Note to editors

Pacific Beverages
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.

Bluetongue
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
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.

Enquiries

SABMiller plc
Sue Clark 
Director of Corporate Affairs 
Tel: +44 20 7659 0184
  
Gary Leibowitz 
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations 
Tel: +44 20 7659 0119
  
Nigel Fairbrass 
Head of Media Relations 
Mob: + 44 7799 894 265

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited
Sally Loane 
Media 
Tel: +61 2 9259 6797
  
Paul Irving 
Analysts 
Tel: +61 2 9259 6185

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the "Company") or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to enter into investment activity.

This document includes "forward-looking statements".  These statements may contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "expect" and words of similar meaning.  All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.  These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement.  The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Any information contained in this announcement on the price at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on the yield on such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future performance.

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