Carlsberg buyer, not seller
Rumors of A-B takeover denied; Carlsberg could bid for Bass
Feb 28, 2000 - With rumors flying and consolidation of the brewing business in Europe considered inevitable, Danish brewer Carlsberg checks in with the latest. A spokeswoman told Reuters that a report that the brewery was discussing selling out to American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch was unfounded and that, in fact, Carlsberg may enter the bidding for the Bass brewing business.
The London Mail printed a story Sunday that A-B and Carlsberg were discussing a $3.2 billion takeover deal, and that South African Breweries and Heineken are also interested in Carlsberg.
SAB and Heineken are considered the leading candidates to acquire the Bass brewery division. Bass will sell those to focus on its pubs and international hotels. "We are interested ... and we are going to take a look at it," the Carlsberg spokeswoman said. Carlsberg's Carlsberg-Tetley division currently is the smallest of the UK's four national brewers.
Carlsberg said it has not been in touch with Anheuser-Busch since it ended a distribution agreement with it in 1998. Since then Labatt, owned by Interbrew, has been marketing Carlsberg's beers in North America.
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