Brewing giants eye Beck's

Scottish & Newcastle, Interbrew, A-B all in the running for German brewer

July 12, 2001 - Three of the world's largest breweries should know within a month which is going to win the battle to acquire Beck's, Germany's biggest beer exporter.


Britain's Scottish & Newcastle, which has a longterm relationship with Beck's, Belgium's Interbrew and America's Anheuser-Busch are believed to have so far pushed the bidding to about $843 million.

S&N has an exclusive deal to distribute Beck's in Britain, the contract is thought have around 10 more years to run. "We are a key part of the Beck's equation, and we would have an important role to play in the future of the brand," an S&N spokesman said.

Both Interbrew and A-B could face regulatory problems in the U.K. if they acquire Becks. Interbrew has already had plenty of problems with its still unresolved deal to acquire Bass Brewers. Interbrew's Stella Artois beer is Britain's best-selling premium packaged lager, ahead of Anheuser Busch's Budweiser and then Beck's. A combination of any two of these could prompt Britain's regulatorsto take a close look.

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