SABMiller bids for Grolsch

Leseja Mokgata

Leseja Mokgata

SABMiller has made a move for premier Dutch beer brand Koninklijke Grolsch NV in a deal that could cost the international brewery just over R8 billion.

The finance made an offer to buy 100 percent of the outstanding Glosch shares at R324 per share, 84 percent higher than the average closing share price over the past month.

SABMiller and Grolsch announced they had reached a conditional agreement of a fully financed cash offer. SABMiller said it "sees significant additional potential across Africa and Latin America, and in more developed markets of Central Europe".

In addition to Grolsch Premium Pilsner, which accounts for over 90 percent of its portfolio, Grolsch also has other brands including Grolsch Premium Weizen, Spring Bock and the Amsterdam brand.

Barnard Jabobs Mellet beverages analyst Grant Swanepoel said SABMiller, worth an estimated R280 billion, would most probably conclude the transaction before the first financial quarter next year.

Swanepoel said: "This is a very good acquisition for SABMiller, and it will give South African audiences something to consider other than Amstel and Windhoek. Grolsch is a good brand and is well positioned in the international market."

The brand's "salad bottle" packaging with a distinct resealable plug was a hit in the UK, which provides 60 percent of the market and the US, the second largest market. It maintains a 15percent market share in the Netherlands.

Grolsch is imported to SA but is sold at a high price which makes it only available in boutique bottle stores.

Swanepoel said: "Once the deal goes through, SAB will more than likely begin local brewing and bottling. It will be sold at a 15 to 20 percent premium (mass market beers) such as Castle Lager."