SABMiller bids to take over Grolsch

The British-South African brewing group SABMiller has made a €816m offer for Dutch brewer Grolsch, one of the oldest Dutch companies.

The bid for Grolsch, famous for its distinctive resealable bottles, is backed by both management and the supervisory board.
SABMiller is offering €48.25 a share for Grolsch, almost twice its stock exchange value. Grolsch shares shot up 77% on the Amsterdam stock exchange. ‘It is a done deal,’ one analyst told ANP news service.
Around one third of the shares in Grolsch are held by the De Groen family, which bought them in 1897. The brewer itself was founded in 1615 and has has been located southwest of Enschede since 2004. SABMiller has plans to expand production, ANP said.
SABMiller, the second biggest brewing group in the world, tried to take over Grolsch seven years ago. It produces some 200 million hectolitres of beer a year. Grolsch, by contrast, produces just 3.5 million hectolitres.
‘Grolsch traditionally does well in the Netherlands and the UK, but the SABMiller link will give the brand a lot of new distribution channels,’ ING analyst Gerard Rijk told NOS tv. ‘We missed a strong northern European brand in our portfolio,’ a SABMiller spokesman told ANP.
The probable takeover comes at a time of increasing consolidation in the beer market. Heineken and Carlsburg are currently bidding to take over UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle.

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