Interbrew buys Beck's

Belgian brewer boosts share in Germany, adds international brand

Aug 6, 2001 - Interbrew, the world's second largest brewer, has completed a deal to buy Beck's, Germany's largest exporter.


It's the Belgian brewer's second German acquisition in two weeks. It announced on July 27 that it bought 80% of speciality beer maker Diebels. With the purchase of Diebels, a maker of traditional German beer, and premium lager maker Beck's, Germany's fourth-biggest beer maker, Interbrew has boosted its market share in Europe's largest economy and strongest beer market.

As well as building a position in Germany, Interbrew adds to its portfolio of international brands. In recent years, the company has almost doubled in size. Half a dozen takeovers in Asia and Europe, including UK brewers Whitbread and Bass last year, have been aimed at helping Interbrew compete for market share against main European rival Heineken.

"Beck's provides an excellent fit with our strategy of acquiring and developing strong brands in local markets. It is a unique premium brand, well positioned in Germany and internationally and, as such, it offers superior volume and value growth potential," said Interbrew Chief Executive Hugo Powell.

The Belgian company's $3.3 billion Bass takeover, has been hindered by U.K. regulators, who will require Interbrew to sell some brands in order to win approval for the takeover. Interbrew is expected to give up part of Bass, including the Carling brand.

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