Written by Clementine Fletcher for Bloomberg
Faced with an armada of smaller competitors, the world’s biggest brewers are getting bigger.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) (TAP) yesterday joined international rivals such as SABMiller Plc and Heineken NV (HEIA) in expanding beyond their main territories as craft beers and imported brands seek to invade their traditional strongholds. The 2.65 billion-euro ($3.5 billion) purchase of StarBev LP will take Denver-based Molson into the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
“I can understand why they’d want to expand outside the U.S. and why they’d want to get into growth markets,” said Trevor Stirling, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. The maker of Carling lager has “low penetration of craft and imports, which are the fastest-growing parts of the market.”
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