Interbrew buys Spaten

Belgian company now largest brewer in Germany

Sept 18, 2003 - Belgium-based Interbrew has taken over as the largest brewer in Germany by acquiring Munich's Spaten Brewery for $500 million. The deal give Interbrew, which already owns Beck's, 11% of the fragmented German market.


The acquisition fills a gap in the southern German beer rich region of Bavaria. It also includes the popular wheat beer, Franziskaner, as well as the Spaten, Dinkelacker and Lowenbrau brands. All those brands are exported to the United States. "This is the right deal at the right price in a key market," Chief Executive John Brock said.

Brock has also bought breweries in China and Serbia in recent weeks.

It seems likely that Interbrew will pursue more German breweries to reach a big enough market share to save money on marketing and distribution costs. "Getting 11% of the market isn't enough to generate substantial value creation," said a London-based brewing analyst. He said Interbrew would need to double its market share to make the investment pay off.

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