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Asahi makes the biggest impression yet on the premium beer market



TOKYO – Asahi Group Holdings' agreement to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev's key Australian operation undermines Japan's brewing strategy to capture the promising premium beer market

. the largest breweries in Japan and Australia. The deal, estimated at 16 billion Australian dollars ($ 11.3 billion), is also the largest purchase deal ever made by the Japanese manufacturer. global leader AB InBev in terms of scale. Instead, Asahi has decided to pursue quality over quantity. In 2016 and 201

7, the Japanese company grabbed many European high quality brands of AB InBev for a total of 9.85 billion euros ($ 11 billion in today's money). In May, Asahi acquires a premium beer from the Fuller Brewery, Smith & Turner, for £ 250m ($ 312m)

There is a big difference between Asahi and AB InBev. The Group, based in Belgium, known for its Budweiser brand, generates more than $ 50 billion of revenue and a 39% profit margin, with a market value of $ 190 billion. Asahi's sales in 2018 amounted to just over 2 trillion yen ($ 18.6 billion), while the profit margin was cut to 10%. 26%.

Faced with this mismatch, Asahi receives signals from the Dutch Heineken Brewery. Instead of popularizing beer on the mass market alongside the high-quality product like AB InBev, Asahi and Heineken are focusing their investments on the premium market.

Asahi strives for acquisitions through a sense of crisis on the declining internal market.

Thanks to the best-selling Super Dry brand, Asahi Breweries is leading the Japanese beer market with a 40% stake. But trends in consumer spirits and health awareness have caused the Japanese beer market to shrink for 14 consecutive years by 2018. Kirin Brewery, the closest rival, lost sales volume by only 1.5 percentage points in the first six months of the year. Kirin Brewery Kirin Holdings expands its healthy food segment and Suntory Holdings focuses on whiskey abroad. "The global premium market is growing," President Akiyoshi Koji said.

Looks like the view is supported. Together with Super Dry, the Italian brand Peroni and the Czech brand Pilsner Urquell enjoy strong global sales. The Japanese brewer accepted such a high value because Carlton controls almost 50% of its share in an unusual, developed nation that grows with a population. Although the Australian beer market as a whole is ripe, demand for beer premiums is rising. Asahi has recently begun manufacturing Super Dry and other products locally, and Carlton's purchase will provide a sales network. second leading beer. AB InBev last week canceled the planned initial public offering of its Asian business in Hong Kong, which would raise to 9.8 billion dollars. Instead AB InBev will deal with this sale of assets.

AB InBev's losses are often Asahi's profits, but this global strategy is not guaranteed to go smoothly. In 1990, Asahi bought a stake from Foster's Carlton's predecessor, but the lack of synergy forced the Japanese brewer to sell the remaining shares in 1997.

Kirin took a bet of 300 billion yen on the Brazilian piers Schincariol in 2011 The poor performance, coupled with price war, forced the mother to sell the Heineken unit for only 77 billion yen in 2017


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