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Foster’s Turns Down Offer for Wine Business

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Foster’s Turns Down Offer for Wine Business

Foster’s Turns Down Offer for Wine Business
September 09
11:10 2010

Foster’s, the Australian brewer and wine maker, is reported to have rejected a cash offer of up to A$2.7b (£1.6b) from an unidentified international private equity firm for its troubled, global wine business, which it plans to demerge. The offer was spurned as undervaluing the wine business, which analysts have valued at more than A$3b.

However, the move could well spark the start of a bidding war for the wine arm or for the entire Foster’s business, which has a market capitalisation of almost A$12b.

Foster’s has renamed its wine business as Treasury Wine Estates in advance of the planned demerger next year. With 12,000 hectares of vineyards, 20 wineries and 50 wine brands, including Penfolds, Lindemans, Wolf Blass, Rosemount, Stags’ Leap, Wynn, Beringer and Castello di Gabbiano, Treasury Wine Estates is the second largest wine producer in the world and incorporates some of the most popular and collected wines from Australia, California, France, Italy and New Zealand.

SABMiller, the world’s second biggest brewer, is reported to be considering launching a £7b bid for Carlton & United Brewers, Foster’s beer operation. A successful bid by SABMiller would make it the biggest brewer in Australia and strengthen its standing in the Pacific region. Japanese brewer Asahi is also believed to be interested in Foster’s beer business.

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