Heineken has announced the acquisition of Strongbow Cider, Little Green and Bonamy’s cider, as well as the licence for Stella Artois and Beck’s, in Australia from Asahi.
These brands will now be distributed in Australia by Drinkworks, the Australian sales and marketing arm of DB Breweries Limited (DB), Heineken’s wholly-owned Australasian subsidiary. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval, which is expected in Q4 2020.
Mr Peter Simons, Managing Director at DB said, “We are delighted to add the Strongbow brand, as well as Stella Artois, Becks, Little Green and Bonamy’s, to Drinkworks’ existing premium beer and cider portolio. The addition of these brands will enable Drinkworks to further scale up and grow our operations in Australia, which is a very important market for us and one in which we expect future growth, particularly in the premium segment.”
The acquisition of these brands by Heineken is a major step in Asahi Beverages’ divestment process for alcohol brands owned or licensed by Carlton & United Breweries. It fulfils Asahi Beverages’ obligations under the ACCC’s approval of acquisition of Carlton United Breweries.
There will be no manufacturing job losses nor brewery closures associated with this deal.
Asahi provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to divest the five brands. The undertaking also requires Asahi to ensure the divested brands receive the same access to bars, pubs and clubs as well as off-premise space under tap-tying agreements as Asahi’s brands until June 2023.
Drinkworks distributes a range of Heineken and DB beers and ciders in Australia, including Tiger, Sol, Monteith’s Beer and Cider and Orchard Thieves Cider.