No Miller time for Efes, chairman says
AA PhotoAnadolu Group, the Turkish conglomerate that owns Efes Pilsen, the country’s largest brewer, is not considering selling its global brand, the group’s chairman has said, after recent reports that SABMiller, the sector giant, had made an offer for it.
“We do not plan to sell a 100 percent stake in the company,” daily Hürriyet quoted Anadolu Group Chairman Tuncay Özilhan as saying.
“It is seen that SABMiller CEO made such remarks. But we don’t have any intention to sell the Anadolu Efes brand,” Özilhan said, adding that he was content with the brand and the planned expansion into a number of new markets.
However, he did not deny that the company was currently engaged in some “operational efforts.”
“Industry analysts have speculated that SAB could target Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, in which SAB already owns a 24 percent stake,” the Wall Street Journal wrote earlier this week, including quotes from sector experts who suggested that Efes has a strong presence in Russia and had the potential to expand in Asia.
In 2011, SABMiller took over 24 percent of shares in Efes in a deal that included a joint-target to expand business in East Europe, as SABMiller gave its Russian and Ukrainian businesses to Anadolu in return.
Anadolu Group recently made an offer to buy a 40 percent share in Migros, Turkey’s popular supermarket chain. Özilhan said the company was not looking for financing for such an acquisition, as it recently sold Abank to the Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ).
Some media reports speculated that Anadolu could sell Efes to finance the acquisition of Migros.
British drinks giant SABMiller said on Nov. 13 that the sale of its stake in South African leisure unit Tsogo Sun had boosted first-half net profits, but warned over “challenging” trade.
Earnings after taxation rose 15 percent to $1.97 billion (1.59 billion euros) in the six months to September from a year earlier and revenues grew two percent to $11.37 billion, it said in a results statement.
The brewer took a $388-million exceptional gain, after costs, on the disposal of its holding in Tsogo Sun.
SABMiller was buoyed by cost-cutting and a “strong” performance in its soft drinks business in Africa, Latin America and Europe. However, lager volumes fell slightly in the period on weaker demand in Europe and parts of Asia, including Australia and China, according to the statement.
SAB already owns a 49 percent stake in the world’s top-selling beer, China’s Snow.
“We anticipate that trading conditions will remain challenging,” the group warned.
SABMiller, which is listed in both London and Johannesburg, is the world’s second largest brewer behind Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev. It produces lagers including Foster’s, Grolsch, Peroni and Miller Genuine Draft.
In September, Dutch drinks giant Heineken had rejected a takeover bid from SABMiller for an unspecified amount.