Chapter 1: How mergers and acquisitions restructured the international brewery industry 2000–10 – and why
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Global beer consumption ran into 185 bn liters in 2009. Wine (27 bn liters) and spirits (19 bn liters) trailed beer consumption, while powerful premixes (4.6 bn liters) and cider (1.5 bn liters) were much smaller in quantity. Beers therefore constitute the largest market for alcoholic drinks measured in quantities, and the last decade has seen a considerable concentration in the industry where the top four brewery groups account for more than 40 percent of the production. The increasing concentration has been caused by mergers and acquisitions (M & As) rather than by organic growth, and consolidation is likely to continue, albeit at a somewhat lower speed. The industry structure has been changed by the aggressive policies of the top-ranking breweries, and, by acquiring Anheuser-Busch, Interbrew assumed a dominating role with close to 20 percent global market share. In 2000 Anheuser-Busch had a global market share (in volume) of 8.8 percent and Interbrew of 4.0 percent. In 2009 this combined 12.8 percent share of the world market had grown to 19.5 percent. Similarly, Miller Brewing and South African Breweries commanded 3.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, with a combined market share of 6.9 percent in 2000. Nine years later the combined share had grown to a respectable 9.5 percent. Heineken and Carlsberg had grown from 4.3 percent to 6.9 percent and from 1.7 percent to 5.9 percent over the same period.

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