Anadolu Efes denies considering sale of lucrative Russian arm

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Turkish parent of Efes Breweries International (EBI) denied yesterday a report that it was planning to sell the brewer, news of which sent its stock more than 5 percent higher in London. Russian daily Kommersant quoted unidentified sources as saying Belgium’s InBev was interested in buying EBI’s international activities in a deal worth more than $1 billion. It said Joseph Strella, who heads InBev’s Russian operations at Sun Interbrew, had told distributors of a pending deal. «Strella stated that the parties were very close to reaching… an agreement,» it quoted one source as saying. Efes has three breweries in Russia and about 7 percent of the market, with brands such as Efes, Warsteiner and Sokol. Efes, which gets 77 percent of its revenues from Russia, told Reuters in May it planned to nearly quadruple output at one of its Russian breweries and looked to expand production to Siberia. The last deal made by InBev in the country, the 167-million-euro acquisition of Tinkoff, was reported by Kommersant about a month before it was officially confirmed. Anadolu Efes owns 70 percent of EBI. The world’s biggest brewer by volume, InBev is the second-largest player in Russia, with eight breweries and a 16 percent market share, selling under the brands Klinskoye, Tolstyak, Sibirskaya Korona, Staropramen, Stella Artois and Beck’s. ING analyst Gerard Rijk said Efes would be a good purchase. «It would be fairly useful as an add-on acquisition to cement (InBev’s) position (in the market),» he said. KBC securities analyst Philippe Rochez said InBev had to buy more breweries in the country because its market share was too small to make a difference in the long term. «Sixteen percent is not enough to become one of the dominant players,» he said. InBev’s market share is far smaller than the 36 percent enjoyed by Baltic Beverage Holding, Russia’s biggest brewer owned by Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.