FOSTER’S: BOON OR BUST FOR BIDDERS?
Who will make the big bid? Foster’s beer group, which is expected to be valued at Australian $1O billion is one of the last big prizes in a globally consolidating beer market, although the sky-high Australian dollar – which recently reached a 29-year high against the dollar – could deter bidders in the short term. SAB has been under pressure to complete a big takeover after falling behind in the race to consolidate the industry. The brewer already owns Foster’s in India and brewing rights to the brand in the US. Analysts claim that whoever buys Foster’s would gain a foothold in Australia and a base from which to expand across Asia, and particularly China. A deal would come as a boost to Graham Mackay, SAB’s chief executive, who is thought to covet one more major acquisition before retirement. The standalone Foster’s business will remain Australia’s largest brewer with revenues of A$2.6 billion. Treasury Wine Estates will rank behind Constellation Brands as the world’s second-largest wine company.