Consolidation pays big dividends for big brewers

on 14/12/10 at 4:56 pm

Industry

A new Rabobank report suggests that the consolidation strategy employed by the biggest global brewers is paying dividends.

Over the past decade the competitive landscape at the top of the beer market has been marked by considerable merger and acquisition activity. The end rest is much greater concentration at the top so that by 2009 the top-10 brewers accounted for 61 per cent of global beer volume, compared to 38 per cent in 2000.

Rabobank analyst Francois Sonneville said: “The most striking change is the emergence of a top-four. The combined market share of Ab InBev (Belgian), SABMiller (South African), Heineken (Dutch) and Carslberg (Danish) tripled between 2000 and 2009, and these four brewers almost quadrupled their volumes.”

Faced with stagnant volume growth in developed markets and a rapid increase in consumption in emerging regions, these big players have sought to shift their global footprints accordingly and take advantage of potential economies of scale. But have their efforts proved successful?

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