The competition watchdog won’t oppose Japanese beverage giant Asahi’s $16 billion purchase of Victoria Bitter owner Carlton & United Breweries from AB Indev after Asahi agreed to sell some brands.
Asahi will sell the Stella Artois and Beck’s beer brands and Strongbow, Bonamy’s and Little Green cider brands to buyer to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“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 chairman Rod Sims said.
Tokyo-based Asahi sells beer brands Asahi Super Dry, Peroni, Cricketers Arms, Grolsch, Mountain Goat and Two Suns.
Carlton & United beer brands include Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, Fat Yak, Crown Lager, Foster’s and Balter, as well as Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s and Budweiser under licence.
Strongbow, Mercury, Bonamy’s, Little Green, Spring Cider Co, Dirty Granny and Pure Blonde Cider.