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Should The Acquisition Of Bass By Interbrew Be Allowed?

Should The Acquisition Of Bass By Interbrew Be Allowed?

The purpose of this investigation is to establish whether the acquisition of Bass by Interbrew should be allowed.

There will be many elements to look at in order to reach a final conclusion but in the first light, it seems that the takeover is a good idea.

Interbrew is one of the largest brewers in the world and I think that the acquisition should go ahead because the merger would make interbrew one of the largest brewer in Great Britain with an overall market share of approximately 33% to 38%. The merger would lead to the creation of a duopoly between Interbrew and Scottish & Newcastle plc. The merger would also result in synergy benefits and cost savings. This suggests that while benefits may accrue to Interbrew as a result of the merger; there are practical concerns that the merger may not be in the public interest because of the creation of a duopoly. It is this issue that I intend to investigate.

Background

Interbrew can trace its origins back to 1366 to a brewery called Den Hoorn, located in Leuven, a city just outside of Brussels. In 1717, Sebastien Artois, the master brewer, purchased the brewery and changed its name to Artois.

Interbrew was formed in 1987 from the merger of Brasseries Artois, then the second largest brewer in Belgium, and Brasseries Piedboeuf, then the largest brewer in Belgium and the brewer of Jupiler.

Interbrew soon acquired other Belgian speciality brewers, including Hoegaarden in 1989 and Belle-Vue in 1990. In 1991, Interbrew entered a phase of rapid expansion, and have since completed 30 acquisitions and strategic joint ventures, the largest of which were Labatt (Canada), Oriental Breweries (South-Korea), SUN Interbrew (Russia), Bass Brewers and Whitbread Beer Company (United Kingdom). This helped the company gain recognition and have an increase in market share in order to try to become the “kings of the brewing industry”

Interbrew acquired Labatt Brewing Company Limited, the second largest Canadian brewer, in 1995. With Labatt, they also acquired Rolling Rock in the United States and a 22% stake in the second largest brewer in Mexico, FEMSA Cerveza. At the time, the acquisition of Labatt nearly doubled their turnover. Last year, Interbrew acquired Bass Brewers and Whitbread Beer Company, excluding Whitbread Beer Company's production of Heineken and Murphy's Irish Stout brewed under licence. Respectively, these two businesses represent the second and fourth...

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