Football fans love drinking beers during matches at home or in stadiums, while beer companies love them doing so.
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Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, whose $20.1bn acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev has hit a stumbling block in the United States, reported modest quarterly results as earnings were hit by a higher tax bill and the relative strength of the Mexican dollar to the US dollar.
The US Department of Justice suit that aims to block the acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo by AB InBev, because it could deter competition, will strike a chord in Mexican drinkers’ thirsty throats.
Over the years, small regional breweries have been swallowed up in Mexico, until a duopoly controls 90 per cent of the market – Modelo on the one hand and, on the other, Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma, which Heineken acquired a couple of years ago from the Monterrey-based bottling and retail group Femsa.
Grupo Modelo, soon to be brought into the Belgian-Brazilian brewer’s corporate fold under a recent $20.1bn deal, provided second-quarter results that, though providing little froth, offered an after-taste of satisfaction.
“Victoria (victory) is ours,” its ads have long proclaimed.
But that slogan could soon read “Victoria is Belgium’s” after Anheuser-Busch InBev said it was in talks with Modelo about acquiring the just over 50 per cent stake that it doesn’t already own in the Mexican brewer. Because not all of its shares have voting rights, AB InBev does not have control.
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