Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SAB Miller Seeks to Acquire Foster's

We should not be surprised that a major beer company has made a bid for Foster's.  After all, once Foster's spun off its wine business, it became far more attractive as an acquisition target.  Major brewers such as Inbev and SAB Miller would not have been interested in acquiring Foster's when it had a struggling wine portfolio.  Now, however, Foster's offers a solid set of brands, with a strong position in the Australian market and export potential beyond even what the firm has achieved to date.  I would not be surprised if other brewers perhaps take a look at offering a higher bid. 

It will be interesting to see an acquirer discovers that opportunities to invest and grow the business have remained untapped in recent years at Foster's.  After all, the firm treated its beer business as the cash cow which fueled the growth in the wine sector.  While the Australian beer market is mature, the opportunities globally can be attractive for a firm with strong brands and distribution capabilities.   Did the firm under-invest in the beer business while on a spending spree in wine?  It's possible.  That surely is what an acquirer will seek to determine as soon as possible. 

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