Acquisition speculation grows as Budvar nears privatisation

27 August, 2008
Page 5 
Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar will be the next state-owned drinks producer to be privatised.

Budvar will follow Sweden's Absolut into private hands when the Czech ministry of agriculture reveals the sell-off process later this year.

InBev and Anheuser-Busch are being tipped as potential bidders, although Carlsberg has money to play with following its share restructure earlier this year.

Budvar would also be a good regional fit for Heineken in central Europe .

A sale to InBev would create a powerful portfolio of international lager brands, with Budvar joining Stella Artois, Beck's and Brahma in the InBev portfolio.

For Anheuser-Busch, an acquisition would conclude long-standing trademark disputes around the world over the use of the names Bud and Budweiser, reported to cost Anheuser US$25 million a year in legal fees.

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