Beer

Asahi completes acquisition of Miller Brands UK

By James Evison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Done deal: Asahi UK has been created
Done deal: Asahi UK has been created
Asahi has completed the deal to acquire Miller Brands UK - creating Asahi UK.

The new company will include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch and Meantime beers - and is part of the company's European strategy to lead the development of the top price point, called 'super premium' beer sector.

Interestingly though, Meantime doe not feature on the list of beers on the new Asahi UK website​.

It follows the long-running saga of AB InBev's multi-billion dollar purchase of SAB Millier - under which in the UK it operated as Miller Brands.

In order to ensure that AB InBev did not breach competition laws in purchasing one of the world's biggest brewers, AB InBev agreed to off-load the Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime brands in April to Asahi for what is believed to be a sum around the £2bn+ mark​. 

The move meant that it was the second time within a year that the formerly independently owned Meantime Brewery had changed hands amongst the mega-brewers - having originally been purchased by SAB Miller in 2015​ following volume growth of 58% for the craft brewer in 2014.

Powered

The former managing director of Miller Brands, and new MD at Asahi UK, Gary Haigh, said the new portfolio would be "powered by a seamless distribution network, expert customer marketing and sales capability" and would extend the growth of Asahi in the UK.

Haigh said: "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.”

World's greatest

Haigh will report to Hector Gorosabel, the CEO of Asahi Europe, who said that the acquisition marks the beginning of 'one of the world's great beer companies'.

Gorosabel said the move was a result of consumers 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.” Gorosabel concluded.

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