Asahi Beverages’ divestment of Strongbow, Little Green and Bonamy’s ciders, plus beer brands Stella Artois and Beck’s, has received final regulatory approval from the ACCC and Foreign Investment Review Board.
Asahi was required to sell the brands by the ACCC after buying CUB last year in a deal worth around $16billion.
“The ACCC was concerned that without the divestments, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the cider market and remove a vigorous and effective competitor in the beer market,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
Heinken was announced as the successful bidder for the brands in October and will distribute them in Australia through its subsidiary Drinkworks. The transaction is due to complete by January 5, 2021.
The Australian Financial Review said the deal was believed to be worth more than $200 million.
“We are thrilled to bring the Strongbow brand in Australia home to Heineken and scale up our beer and cider portfolio in one of the world’s leading beer and cider markets,” said Jacco van der Linden, president of Heineken APAC in a statement announcing the deal.
“This acquisition shows that Heineken remains active in pursuing growth where we see opportunities that align with our long-term strategy.”
The transaction fulfills Asahi Beverages’ divestment obligations as part of the ACCC’s approval of its acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries.
Under the terms of the divestment, and to ensure no disruption for customers over summer, Asahi and Drinkworks have agreed that Carlton & United Breweries will continue to make the divested brands available for purchase and delivery through Carlton & United Breweries (on behalf of Drinkworks) until April 30, 2021.