British beer giant enters growing Greek market

London (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest brewer, Scottish and Newcastle Plc, made its first foray into the growing Greek beer market yesterday with the purchase of a 46-percent stake in the country’s second largest brewer. S&N, which brews Kronenbourg and F oster’s in Europe, is paying 16 million pounds ($23 million) for a stake in Mythos Breweries SA from the Boutari Group – which will retain a similar 46-percent stake. Banks hold the remainder. Mythos has an 11-percent share of the Greek beer market and owns the leading Greek national lager brand «Mythos» in a national market dominated by Dutch brewing giant Heineken NV, with an 80-percent share. The annual Greek market weighing in at 4.4 million hectoliters is small compared to the UK market of around 57 million hectoliters, but has grown at around 2.5 percent per annum over the last five years, compared to a slowly declining UK market. Mythos launched Foster’s in Greece in partnership with S&N in 2000, and will now consider the launch of another S&N brand, like premium beer Kronenbourg 1664. Mythos operates a brewery in Thessaloniki in northern Greece and has 261 employees. Turkish steelmakers export mostly to the European Union, South Africa and the Middle East.

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