Glenboden M & A Originations

Czech Budweiser may be opening up after Anheuser-Busch distribution deal

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Origination Status exclusive import, distribution and marketing agreement for US market signed, February 2007;
Asset Czechvar super-premium Czech beer brand (aka. Czech original Budweiser);
Buyer distributor – Anheuser-Busch (USA);
Seller brand owner Budejovicky Budvar (Czech Republic);
Buyer Rationale broaden portfolio in growing premium imported beer segment;
Seller Rationale greater penetration of US market, prelude to privatisation ?;
NBs Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar both own the ‘Budweiser’ brand, but not jointly.
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Budejovicky Budvar has owned the ‘original’ Budweiser beer brand for centuries. It’s been in a bitter long-running trade-mark dispute with Anheuser-Busch, in a number of jurisdictions, which has inter alia caused the Czech version’s name to be changed to ‘Czechvar’ for distribution in the USA. This agreement might herald the end of this dispute; in turn that might finally open the door to Budvar’s privatisation.

Anheuser-Busch is the dominant beer player in the US, with 49% market share and a presence in every segment of the market, so they know where the future consumption will be. It says a lot about the strength of the trend towards authentic-origin premium products in the US (in this case beer), that these two companies are setting aside their legendary disputes, ongoing in other countries, in order to jointly meet this growing demand.

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