Takeover Building Down Under
Wine and beer producer
Foster’s has made a bid for Australian winemaker Southcorp.
Foster’s purchased an 18.8 percent interest in the company from
Reline Investments, then extended the offer to all Southcorp investors,
which would put the value of the acquisition at A$3.1 billion. If the
acquisition goes through, it would reportedly give Foster’s total
sales of about A$4.8 billion and wine sales of about A$2.6 billion, or
about 39 million cases annually, putting it second only to Constellation
Brands in the wine industry.
Foster’s has said the combination with Southcorp
is “strategically and financially compelling,” and that it
would create a “global wine company with an unrivaled collection of
premium wine brands.” It also would give Foster’s greater scale
in key geographic regions and price segments in the United States, the
United Kingdom and Australia.
Molson, Coors complete merger
Shareholders of both
Molson and Coors Brewing Co. have approved the merger of the two companies,
creating Molson Coors Brewing Co., the fifth-largest brewing company in the
world by volume. Coors Chief Executive Officer Leo Kiely will head the new
company as its CEO, and Coors Chief Financial Officer Tim Wolf also will
retain that position. Eric Molson will serve as chairman of the new company
and Peter Coors will become vice chairman.
Shortly after Coors shareholders approved the deal,
Kiely said one of the new company’s first tasks will be to assess
Molson’s struggling business in Brazil.
Pernod considers Allied acquisition
European wine and spirits
companies Pernod Ricard and Allied Domecq are said to be looking at a
merger. Reports at presstime were that the companies had not yet met to
discuss the possibility, but that people familiar with the matter said
Paris-based Pernod has consulted with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to
explore a possible merger. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, there is
little overlap between the companies’ brands, with the exception of
cognac, where both have major brands.
Wal-Mart, P&G hold their lead
recently released its annual PoweRanking Survey highlighting the best in
retail and consumer product manufacturing.
Procter & Gamble led manufacturers, with improvements
in six of the eight categories measured. Wal-Mart took top honors in
retailing for the sixth consecutive year, but slid 1.1 percent in its
P&G was up an overall 5.3 percent, and led in the
areas of clearest company strategy, most important consumer brands to
retailers, most innovative marketing programs and approach, most helpful
consumer information, best supply chain management and best practice
category management. Kraft Foods was the leader in best combination of
growth and profitability and best sales force/customer teams.
Beverage companies did not fare as well in the
rankings. Pepsi-Cola dropped 2.4 percent in its overall score, and
Coca-Cola fell 6 percent. Quaker Beverages & Foods increased 0.4
percent in overall rankings. Cannondale points out that PepsiCo would rank
No. 3 among all manufacturers if its businesses were measured together.
They are measured separately because they are perceived that way by
On the retailer side, Wal-Mart led other retailers in
the categories of clearest company strategy, best job of branding stores,
projected to be power retailers in the next 15
years, best retailer with which to do business, best category management/
buying teams, best supply chain management and best practice/category
management. HEB pulled ahead of the world’s largest retailer in the
category of most innovating consumer marketing/merchandising.
Powe-Ranking results are based on retailers’ rankings of
manufacturers and product manufacturers’ rankings of the retailers
with whom they work.
Diageo wraps up Chalone buy
Diageo has completed its purchase of the Chalone Wine Group Ltd.,
which now will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.
In addition to the price per share associated with the
acquisition, Chalone shareholders were allowed to join Chalone’s
Shareholder Cellars wine club and receive $1 wine credit per share of
common stock owned prior to the merger.
“The brands and varietals of the Chalone Wine
Group are an extremely good strategic fit with our current business,”
said Ray Chadwick, president of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines.
“We are now well positioned to capitalize on the improving U.S.
demographic and consumption trends in the premium wine segment.”
Coca-Cola sues over OJ packaging
The Coca-Cola Co. has
filed suit against Florida’s Natural Growers over a Florida’s
Natural orange juice carafe package it feels is too similar to Simply
Orange. Plastipak, the manufacturer of the bottle in question is not named
in the suit.
According to the filing, Coca-Cola holds two patents
on the carafe design used for Simply Orange. Coca-Cola is looking for an
order barring Florida’s Natural from using the design, as well as
profits gained from prior use. BI
Innovations in PET at drinktec
PET packaging will play a
big part at drinktec 2005, Sept. 12-17 in
Munich, Germany, thanks to the integration of PETpoint into the show.
PETpoint will feature a number of exhibitors with innovations from raw
material through finished product, and “means that PETpoint visitors
and exhibitors, as well as the traditional drinktec halls, can take
advantage of their close proximity to each other,” says Hermann Graf
Castell of Krones, a member of the show’s advisory committee.
The integration also recognizes the importance of PET
to the global beverage market. Global production of PET is currently about
6 million tons, and growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent annually.
Exhibitors will include producers of PET resin, machinery manufacturers,
bottle manufacturers, fillers, suppliers of ancillary equipment, closures
and labels, as well as companies offering machines and services for
recycling. Two years ago, PETpoint attracted 2,847 visitors from 65
countries. It covered 2,736 square meters and 76 exhibitors. In Munich it
will occupy 10,000 square meters in two completely new exhibition halls
specially designed for showing machinery.
In addition, there will be an accompanying World PET
Congress at the International Congress Center München. Experts from
all sectors of the PET industry will present the latest developments in
marketing strategies and the demands of global distribution chains, design
and selection of the right PET bottles for hot and cold aseptic filling. It
also will cover the latest in preform and bottle manufacturing technology
using the single-stage and two-stage processes, innovations in filling
machines and secondary packaging, plus waste
disposal and alternative recycling processes. BI
Larry Schwartz has been
appointed president, U.S. spirits at Diageo as part of a reorganization of its North American business.
Kevin O’Neil will
continue to lead the U.S. control states business, and Gilbert Ghostine has been named
managing director Northern Europe... Coors
Brewing Co., Golden, Colo., has named Lee Buxton interim chief
marketing officer, replacing Ron Askew... Cadbury Schweppes
America’s Beverages has appointed Bert Alfonso executive vice
president of finance, replacing David Gerics, who has become senior vice president of corporate
finance... Southern Wine & Spirits has selected Michael Jahn as general manager of its Arizona division. Richard Crossland has been named
general manager for Colorado operations... Camilo
Rojas has become
branch marketing manager for Silver Eagle
Distributors LP, Houston... Mike Westrick has been named vice
president of winemaking at Diageo Chateau &
Estate Wines’ Sterling Vineyards, Napa,
Calif... Go Fast Sports & Beverage Co., Denver, Colo., has named Alan
Cortes chief operating officer... Pacific Wine Partners has
appointed Janice Shallin western division vice president... Bridget
Epp has become vice president of sales, eastern
division, at Wente Family Estates, Livermore, Calif... Infinite
Spirits, San Francisco, has named Nancy Ramamurthi vice president
of marketing... Fess Parker Winery &
Vineyards, Los Olivos, Calif., has selected Brett Escalera as director of
winemaking, and named Manou Chahmirzadi to oversee sales in its Midwest territory.