Asahi Group has announced the completion of its €2.55bn acquisition of Miller Brands UK and the formation of Asahi UK, adding brands such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch and Meantime to its beer portfolio.
SABMiller agreed to sell the business earlier this year to gain regulatory approval for its merger with AB InBev, which was completed last month.
Asahi said the investment in the new company and the acquisition of Miller Brands was part of its strategy to lead the development of the Europe’s Super Premium Beer sector. It added that new company and extended portfolio will further strengthen Asahi’s offering, giving businesses across Europe access to a “superior range of genuinely imported beer brands and unrivalled quality”.
Gary Haigh, Managing Director of Asahi UK, commented: “Our Super Premium Brand portfolio is powered by a seamless distribution network, expert customer marketing and sales capability – this means we can extend and grow Asahi’s ambition in the UK. Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been a key driver in the growth of the UK Super Premium sector which is now worth £1.3bn and accounts for more than a quarter of the London beer market. With the backing of the Asahi Group we will be able to continue our strategies for the brands, building on their success and allowing our customers to benefit from meeting the demands of UK consumers for high quality beer brands.”
Hector Gorosabel, CEO Asahi Europe, added: “Today marks the beginning of what I am confident will become one of the world’s great beer companies. Consumers and customers are becoming ever-more discerning about the quality and provenance of the brands they choose. Asahi Europe has the brands, the agility and most importantly, the people, to deliver exceptional experiences to both.”
Last week, Asahi played down a report that said it was getting set to make an offer to acquire SABMiller’s beer operations in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.