Heineken seeks brewers’ pledge on fridge space and ‘dirty tricks’
bdlive.co.za - Jun 23rd 2016, 08:28
MAJOR rival Heineken on Wednesday hit SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) with a slew of conditions it wants the Competition Tribunal to impose on the $108bn merger.
An end to "dirty tricks" and better access to fridge and shelf space topped Heineken’s list of demands.
It was the first intervention by the Dutch brewer. Its lawyer, Anthony Norton, said the merging parties had previously been "dismissive of its concerns".
Norton said dirty tricks included the removal and defacing of competitors’ signage and giving outlets incentives to charge higher than the retail price for SABMiller’s competitors’ products.
Heineken also wanted a 10% guarantee of fridge space allocated to craft brewers open to it because in SA it had about 10% of the market, while the rest was controlled by SABMiller. Norton pleaded that the tribunal be sensitive to Heineken’s concerns as "in a few years’ time there’s not going to be any other beer companies in this market".
Lawyers for AB InBev said it had sold off several major brands, including Peroni and Grolsch, thus shrinking its share. But Heineken contended they were only 1.5% of the local market and the megabrewer would still dominate.
The Competition Commission conceded that it had approved the merger without having sight of the megabrewer’s expansion plans.
Another competitor, Distell, asked that an arrangement the commission brokered for retail outlets to stock 10% of rival products next to SABMiller’s be extended to stadiums when there were no specially sponsored events.
Distell also asked for SABMiller’s stake in it to be sold off sooner than the three years recommended by the commission but it later emerged that AB-Inbev had consented to a sale within months.
The parties were arguing before the tribunal, which has to sign off the commission’s recommendation that the merger be approved — with numerous conditions.
Tribunal chairman Norman Manoim earlier said the merged entity should spell out how long its commitment not to retrench staff would last. That was one of the conditions agreed to before the merger was approved.
Distell and AB Inbev square off in booze showdown
13/09/2019 - 10:28
Exclusive branding arrangements with liquor outlets and agreements with sports stadiums took centre stage at Competition Tribunal hearings on Thursday, into Distell's accusation that Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is contravening the conditions of its 2016 merger with SABMiller.
Consumers drink while retailers keep the tills active and lights on
10/09/2019 - 11:19
One in five South Africans is unemployed and economic growth remains anaemic, but retailers manage to grow, demonstrating that they still have some defensive qualities.
Distell says rest of Africa offset lower volumes in SA
28/08/2019 - 09:23
Alcoholic drinks company Distell, whose brands include Nederburg wines and Klipdrift brandies, says its rest-of-Africa business made up for lower sales volumes in SA in the year to end-June.
The SA liquor market is changing - these are the new favourites, says expert
21/08/2019 - 09:05
The way South Africans are consuming liquor is changing from traditional, heritage brands to modern, urban, "idiosyncratic" brands, according to Rowan Leibbrandt, founder of fine liquor merchants Truman & Orange.
#WomensMonth: The art of brewing with a woman’s touch
19/08/2019 - 13:36
SAB which boasts 57% of women brewers in South Africa, believes Women’s Month provides the perfect opportunity for our country to reflect on how far we have come in changing the perception of women and beer. Since prehistoric times, the important responsibility of brewing beer was almost always undertaken by women in a community, but since the industrial revolution in the 18th Century, it has become more of a male-dominated industry. Now is the time for women to take their power back and reassume their rightful place as society’s leading brewmasters.