E-Malt.com News article: Australia: Coopers Brewery not really interested in expanding imported beers portfolio
The managing director of Australia's third-largest beer company, Coopers Brewery, says there might not be room for any extra imported beer brands in his portfolio if any were to spring free in Australia from the proposed global A$146 billion merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on October 20.
Tim Cooper says Coopers has been able to deliver solid growth from the Carlsberg brand and Kronenbourg 1664, which it took over from Foster's Group in 2012 under a licensing deal following the A$12.3 billion takeover of Foster's by SABMiller.
"It's been growing every year," Dr Cooper said of the Carlsberg brand, which is the flagship imported brand.
Coopers also has the Japanese brand Sapporo in its international portfolio.
"They both keep us pretty busy," he said.
Foster's surrendered the licences to Carlsberg, Corona and Stella Artois in the space of a few months after the takeover by SABMiller under change of control clauses. Arch rival Lion took on Corona, which is the No 1 imported beer in Australia and has 5.9 per cent of the total market by volume, and Stella Artois.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it will take into account a number of factors, including imported beer licensing deals, when assessing the Australian market in beer, and whether any competition issues arise from the proposed global merger.
Dr Cooper said the company, the largest independently owned brewer in Australia, was watching the situation closely and would remain alert for any opportunities that might arise.
"It's hard to know what potentially could fall out," he said.
Mainstream beers are on the wane in Australia but the craft beer segment is growing at more than 20 per a year.
Dr Cooper said the company, which makes beer from a large plant in the Adelaide industrial suburb of Regency Park, had a foot in both camps.
"I think it's a reasonable spot to be in," he said. "The big guys look at us as being in the forefront of the craft beer movement in Australia."
The international beers in the Coopers portfolio make up about 10 per cent of total volume.
Coopers evaded the clutches of Lion, which makes Tooheys and XXXX Gold, in a bitterly fought takeover battle in 2005.
21 October, 2015