Bass starts talks to buy Czech brewer
Thursday 16 January 1997
Having increased its stake in the Radegast brewery last week from 20 to 33 per cent, Bass said it was confident of striking a deal before the end of the year with one of the brewer's other main shareholders. To do so it would have to strike a deal with IPB, the bank which owns 34 per cent of Radegast and has so far opposed the acquisition by Bass of a stake from another Czech investor.
Bass country manager Mervyn Childs said yesterday that because there were few shares left available on the open market, Bass was now focusing its attention on IPB. "I hope that our discussions will lead to something, certainly within the course of this year," Mr Childs said.
Bass already owns 51 per cent of Prazske Pivovary, which controls about 14 per cent of the local market compared with the 16 per cent share claimed by Radegast. It has ambitions to create a group with around 25 to 30 per cent of the Czech domestic beer market and is understood to favour an eventual merger between the two brewers.
Bass moved into the Czech beer market in 1993 when it took a 34 per cent stake in Prague Breweries. The British group now also owns majority shares in two small regional Czech breweries, Vratislavice and Ostravar.
Apart from moving into the Czech market, which boasts the world's highest per capita beer consumption, Bass has been keen to push Czech beers in western Europe and Russia.
Bass and IPB have become the two largest shareholders in the Czech brewing industry, which is barely profitable but is considered to have big export potential. Prague Breweries, whose premium brand is Staropramen, has seen exports surge to 290,000 hectolitres in 1996 from 109,000 hectolitres in 1994.
Whoever wins control of Radegast, the most profitable and efficient of the big brewing groups, will have the dominant role in the industry and the largest portfolio of brands.
Bass is moving to expand its overseas operations to diversify away from the mature UK beer market, where it is currently embroiled in a Monopolies and Mergers Commission investigation into its planned takeover of Carlsberg Tetley.
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
James Foley 'beheaded': PM cuts holiday short for emergency meeting on British response to latest Isis atrocity
Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...