sab on Buying spree

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

Barely two months after making an offer to buy out a Dutch brewer, global brewing giant SABMiller announced yesterday that it has completed the acquisition of a Polish brewer.

The acquisition of 99,96percent of Browar Belgia from Palm Breweries NV by SAB's Polish subsidiary, Kompania Piwowarska SA, was approved on January 4 by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

The value of the gross assets acquired is about ß65 million (R658 million), SAB said.

Analysts yesterday said the acquisition was not that significant because SAB's market capitalisation in Euros is an estimated ß28,5 billion, but it does give the brewer another two percent market share in Poland.

Barnard Jacobs Mellet beverages analyst, Grant Swanepoel, said: "It's a tiny acquisition by SAB's standards, but it will add to their portfolio. SAB already has 40-odd percent share of the Polish beer market."

Browar Belgia operates one brewery situated in Kielce, southeast Poland, and has an annual production capacity in excess of 1million hectolitres. Its principal brands are Wojak, Gingers and Frater.

In November last year SAB made an offer to buy 100percent of the outstanding shares of premier Dutch beer brand Koninklijke Grolsch NV (Grolsch) at R324 per share. Grolsch shareholders have until February 5 to make a decision on SAB's share offer.

Nigel Fairbrass, the head of media relations at SABMiller in London, said the acquisitions were part of the brewer's broad strategy.

He said: "More acquisitions are planned for this year as part of our strategy to achieve stronger organic growth globally."