SAB may bid for Bass Breweries

South African Breweries still on hunt after acquiring Pilsner Urquell

Jan 30, 2000 - The London Telegraph reported Sunday that South African Breweries and Bass have had preliminary discussions about SAB acquiring Bass Breweries.


South African Breweries acquired the Czech Republic's two largest breweries, Pilsner Urquell and Radegast, just a few months ago.

The Telegraph reported that SAB was considering a bid that would give it 24.5% of the UK beer market. It is also looking at a bid for Kronenbourg, the premium lager owned by French food group Danone. SAB would acquire top-selling British brands from Bass as well as licensed brands such as Grolsch.

Bass wants to sell its brewing interests to concentrate on its hotels and resorts business and managed pubs, however it wants top dollar for its beer business -- apparently more than SAB has offered.

Speculation is that Heineken may also enter the bidding for the Bass beer business. Analysts have been predicting widespread consolidation in European brewing with SAB, Heineken and Interbrew all interest in making acquisitions.

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