AB InBev’s divests CUB to Asahi Group Holdings for $11.3bn

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) agreed to sell its Australian subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) for an enterprise value of A$16bn ($11.3bn).

The sale agreement was entered by the company with Asahi Group Holdings.

Under the deal, Asahi Group Holdings holds all rights to commercialise the portfolio of AB InBev’s global and international brands in Australia.

DB Breweries acquires Kingfisher beer licensing rights

DB Breweries reportedly acquired the licensing rights of Kingfisher beer from India-based United Breweries.

Owned by Dutch brewing company Heineken, DB Breweries will manufacture and distribute Kingfisher beer in New Zealand and Australia from next year.

DB Breweries sales director Paul Millward was quoted by www.nzherald.co.nzas saying: “Kingfisher, in terms of dollars of the beer category in New Zealand, [makes up] 1.5% of the beer category so this is quite a significant brand.”

Remy Cointreau CEO to step down this year

Rémy Cointreau Group announced the departure of its chief executive officer Valerie Chapoulaud-Floquet.

The company noted that Valerie will step down by the end of this year due to personal reasons.

Valerie became CEO of the Rémy Cointreau Group in 2014 and has since been continuing to implement the group’s strategy as defined by the board of directors.

Johnnie Walker launches four whiskies with Scottish flavours

Johnnie Walker launched four 12-year-old blended Scotch whiskies in the Johnnie Walker Black Label Origin Series.

The products offer distinct flavour profiles that represent four areas in Scotland. Each Scotch is crafted using whiskies from a particular region to capture the primary flavour characteristics of that area.

The collection aims to capture the fruity flavours of Speyside, the rich characteristics of the Highlands, the sweet notes of the Lowland region and the smoky finish of Islay whiskies.

Pernod Ricard’s Absolut Company signs long-agreement with Ardagh Group

Wine and spirits producer Pernod Ricard’s The Absolut Company and global packaging solutions provider Ardagh Group signed a ten-year agreement.

Valid until 2029, the agreement is the largest supplier agreement for The Absolut Company.

According to the agreement, Ardagh agreed to supply glass bottles for the company’s Absolut Vodka brand.

New Age Beverages wraps up Brands Within Reach acquisition

US-based organic and natural products firm New Age Beverages completed the purchase of New York-based marketing, sales, and distribution company Brands Within Reach (BWR).

BWR holds the licensing or distribution rights for beverage brands such as Nestea, Illy Ready-to-Drink Coffee, Volvic and Evian.

In addition to beverages, BWR owns key licensing and distribution rights of select natural and organic snack products such as Nature Addicts, Grand-Mere, Lucien Georgelin and La Mere Poulard.

EBRD invests in Kazakh beverage producer RG Brands

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide loan of $25m to support operations of Kazakhstan-based food and beverages manufacturer RG Brands.

RG Brands is engaged in the production of a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages, including juices, soft drinks, UHT milk, tea, water and franchised brands.

It is reported to be one of the largest private sector clients of the EBRD in Kazakhstan.

Market imbalance hindering wine industry growth, says ACCC

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that the growth of the country’s wine industry depends on reforms to improve competition for wine grapes.

ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said, at the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Adelaide, that the low level of competition currently between winemakers buying grapes leads to inefficient outcomes in production and pricing. Also, it discourages innovation and capital investment.

According to Keogh, imbalances in bargaining power between a few dominant buyers and several small-scale sellers characterise the wine grape growing industry.

BWG Foods recalls bottled water in Ireland over arsenic fears

BWG Foods recalled a batch of two bottled water products as a precautionary measure due to the presence of arsenic above normal levels.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has advised people not to ingest Spar Water Still Sport 750ml and Londis Still Water 1l due to arsenic fears.

The products were recalled from Spar and Londis convenience store chains as arsenic was detected at levels above the prescribed legal limit.

Beam Suntory to start construction on Fred B Noe Craft Distillery

US-based premium spirits company Beam Suntory will start construction on the Fred B Noe Craft Distillery, which will house the company’s future innovations.

Located on the James B Beam Distilling site in Clermont, Kentucky, the new facility is part of a $60m investment to re-establish the James B. Beam Distilling Co.

James B. Beam covers the production operations for Jim Beam brand, as well as small-batch brands such as Booker’s, Baker’s, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek.