Czech Republic: SABMiller buys out Prazdroj minority shares
SABMiller plc announced on July 25 that its wholly owned subsidiary Pilsner Urquell Investments B.V. (“PUI”) has initiated a buy-out process to acquire the remaining 3.1% interest
held by minority shareholders in the group’s Czech operating company, Plzenský Prazdroj a.s. (“Plzenský Prazdroj”). Following the proposed transaction, PUI will be the sole shareholder in Plzenský Prazdroj.
Following an amendment to the Czech Commercial Code and at the request of PUI, Plzenský Prazdroj’s majority shareholder, the board of directors of Plzenský Prazdroj has called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders (“EGM”) at which it expects PUI’s offer to minority shareholders to be approved. The value of the gross assets to be acquired is US$18.0 million or CZK446.7 million (representing 3.1% of total gross assets). The EGM is expected to take place on 26th August 2005 and the acquisition of the minority shareholders’ interest is expected to complete in October 2005.
SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with 2004/05 lager sales volumes in excess of 148 million hectolitres. It has a brewing presence in over 40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world. In the year ended 31 March 2005, the group generated US$2,194 million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$14,543 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
Plzenský Prazdroj is the leading brewing company in the Czech Republic with lager sales volumes of over 9.7m hls in 2004/05 in over 50 countries. Its main brands are Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast and Velkopopovický Kozel.
China & South Korea: Chinese beer safe to drink, says S.Korean food safety authority
South Korean food safety authority said on Tuesday, July 26, that Chinese beer is safe to drink as it found the formaldehyde content in Chinese beer is much lower
than the standard set by the World Heath Organization (WHO), Xinhua News communicated.
The (South) Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said in a news release that the quantity of the formaldehyde detected in Chinese beer met the international guidelines.
Sample examination showed in the 13 brands of imported Chinese beer and four German beer sold in South Korea, the average content level of formaldehyde stood at 0.132 parts per million (ppm). The level of formaldehyde in the 19 brands of South Korea beer stands at 0.128 ppm on average, said the release.
The results of the examination showed both imported and domestically produced beer met the WHO's guideline of under 0.9 milligram (mg) formaldehyde per liter, it said, adding the traces of the substance may result from the natural brewing process.
The KFDA also said that in the future, imported beer with a formaldehyde content of less than 0.9 mg per liter will be allowed into the country without the need for further documentation, while those with levels between 0.9 mg and 2.0 mg will require manufacturers to submit documents testifying that the formaldehyde was not added as part of the manufacturing process.
Russia: Beer output in Russia in H1 2005 was the lowest in the last 5 years
The growth rate of beer production in Russia in the first half of this year compared to H1 2004 was the lowest rate over the last five years...more info
USA: Craft beer production growth up 7.1% for first half of 2005
Brewers Association of USA has recently reported that craft beer production volume increased by 7.1% for the first half of 2005...more info
Poland: Kompania Piwowarska is the leader for four quarters in a row
Kompania Piwowarska, a subsidiary of SABMiller, announced on July 27 that its domestic sales in the second quarter of 2005 (April - June) amounted to 3.1 million hectolitres...more info
UK: High nitrogen levels in malting barley are causing concern
Rainy conditions continue to slow things down for farmers today, Farmers Weekly Interactive communicated on July 26...more info
USA: Minor acreage increase in 2005 hops crop
The official hop acreage survey conducted by the USDA has already been published. The US growers who used to play a leading role with regard to acreage reductions in former years
have increased their acreage by 586 ha (1,448 acres) in crop 2005, Joh. Barth & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG, the agricultural company that processes and trades hops and hop products worldwide, announced at the beginning of July 2005. This number is composed of 430 ha (1,062 acres) bitter hops (Galena, Super High Alpha, Nugget) and 156 ha (385 acres) aroma hops. The aroma sector also shows clear variety changes: Willamette +255 ha (+630 acres / +11%); Cascade -107 ha (-264 acres / -18%); US-Perle -82 ha (-203 acres / -67%).
The dollar which is still undervalued will help US high alpha hops in crop 2005 to regain more importance on the world market.
The big surplus of bitter hops from former crops that influenced the price structure for US spot hops has mainly been sold. Therefore the price for bitter hops crop 2005 has already recovered. Furthermore, new markets have opened up for hops outside the brewing industry. Their needs are mainly satisfied by US hops and will have growing influence on demand.
Some varieties already show a shortage in supply at present. E.g. the varieties Galena and Nugget have been completely sold by pre-contracts. The variety Millennium, however, is available to balance Nugget shortage. The variety Cluster has become a niche variety and can only be secured by making pre-contracts.
Some growers intended to introduce a Hop Marketing Order in the US. After longer hearings, this petition was finally declined by the USDA.