Japanese Brewer Asahi Buys Pilsner Urquell

In the wake of the historic AB InBev-SABMiller merger, the iconic Czech brand has been sold to Asahi

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 13.12.2016 11:13:02 (updated on 13.12.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

The biggest transaction in the history of the beer industry took place earlier this year, when AB InBev agreed to take over its largest rival, SABMiller.

The merger of the world’s two biggest brewers came at a price tag of around $100 billion (somewhere in the range of 2.5 trillion CZK).

But because of antitrust laws and the high amount of breweries owned by both companies across the European market, SABMiller was going to have to divest some of its assets before the deal could become official.

One of those assets owned by SABMiller just happens to be Pilsner Urquell: one of the most iconic and well-known brands – beer or otherwise – in the Czech Republic.

The presumed sale of Pilsner has lit up the local rumor mill since the merger was announced a few months back, with both foreign and domestic investors vying for the prized brand.

Today, it became official: reports have surfaced that Asahi – one of the biggest brewers in Japan and on the Asian market – has agreed to purchase Pilsner Urquell along with five other European breweries. 

The sale still needs to be approved by European antitrust authorities, writes iDnes.cz

The other breweries in the transaction are Slovakia’s Topvar, Poland’s Tyskie and Lech, Hungary’s Dreher, and Romania’s Ursus.

The price tag comes in at around $8 billion (200 billion CZK), the largest international transaction ever made by a Japanese brewer.

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The company will add to a European collection that already includes Peroni and Grolsch, purchased from SABMiller earlier this year. 

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