E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: Slovakia: SABMiller is acquiring major stake in Topvar brewery in Slovakia

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E-Malt.com News article: Slovakia: SABMiller is acquiring major stake in Topvar brewery in Slovakia

SABMiller plc, one of the world’s largest brewers, announced on May 9 that it has agreed to acquire the Slovakian brewer Topvar, a.s. Topvar is located in the City of Topoľčany in Western Slovakia and sold 569,000 hectolitres of beer in 2004. The value of the net assets to be acquired is approximately US$15.2 million.

Alan Clark, Managing Director of SABMiller’s European division, commented: “This acquisition complements our existing operations in Slovakia and strengthens our overall position in Central Europe. Topvar brings to SABMiller a strong local brand, an excellent distribution platform in Western Slovakia and a quality production site. The acquisition reflects our strategy of optimising and expanding our positions in developing markets and we anticipate brand, procurement and distribution benefits arising from the transaction.”

Under the terms of the agreement with the controlling shareholders, SABMiller will make an offer to acquire all the shares of the minority shareholders in the Company (40.5% interest). Depending on the level of acceptances under the Offer, the controlling shareholders, who have a 59.5% interest in the Company, have agreed to sell sufficient shares such that SABMiller’s interest will be at least 33%, but not more than 49% of the issued share capital.

Six months after the acquisition of the Initial Stake, the controlling shareholders will sell further shares (“the Additional Shares”) to enable SABMiller to increase its interest to at least 67% of Topvar. The remaining shares held by the controlling shareholders are subject to put and call arrangements exercisable within 18 months of SABMiller acquiring the Additional Shares.

The transaction is conditional upon Slovakian Anti-monopoly Office approval, a minimum level of acceptances under the Offer and the fulfilment of certain technical requirements. Provided the minimum level of acceptances under the Offer is met, the transaction will provide SABMiller with an interest in Topvar of at least 95%.

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with 2003/04 lager sales volumes in excess of 137 million hectolitres. It has a brewing presence in over 40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2004, the group generated US$1,391 million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$12,645 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

11 May, 2005

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