Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught are turning Japanese
Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught are now officially Japanese-owned beers.
Japanese brewing giant Asahi Beverages will on June 1 take over as owner of Australia's largest beer business, Carlton & United Breweries, after gaining clearance from the Foreign Investment Review Board for the $16 billion buyout.
The clearance was the final regulatory hurdle to be completed and gives Asahi ownership of a company which also makes Great Northern and Crown Lager.
In February, Asahi agreed to divest its cider business and two imported beer brands in its quest to gain ACCC approval for its acquisition of CUB.
The cider brands – Strongbow, Bonamy’s and Little Green – equate to about 20% of the Australian cider market. The beer brands – Stella Artois and Beck’s – are established premium international beer brands.
“This Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval represents the conclusion of the regulatory review process and all of the regulatory conditions to closing the transaction have now been satisfied,” Asahi said.
Chairman Asahi Beverages Peter Margin added: “Both parties will move to complete this acquisition on June 1, with CUB joining the Asahi Beverages family on that day.”
CUB will become a business division of the Asahi Beverages Regional Hub within Oceania, along with Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, Asahi Premium Beverages and Asahi Beverages New Zealand.
CUB also owns craft beer brands Pirate Life, 4Pines and Balter Brewing Co.
Asahi’s current beer brands include Asahi Super Dry, Peroni, Mountain Goat, Cricketers Arms and Two Suns. It also owns the Schweppes soft drinks business in Australia.