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Asahi headquarters in Tokyo
14 May 2020

Asahi gets regulatory approval to buy CUB

Australia | The Foreign Investment Review Board, on 7 May 2020, gave its final approval to Asahi’s AUD 16 billion (USD 10.5 billion) bid for Carlton & United (CUB).

It was reported that the deal will award Asahi with a market share of 48.5 percent of the Australian beer market, when CUB’s 45 percent share is combined with its existing footprint. This makes it the country’s major brewer, ahead of Kirin- owned Lion.

Asahi will acquire CUB from AB-InBev. CUB will become a business division of the Asahi Beverages Regional Hub within Oceania, alongside other business divisions.

But the transaction, which was first announced in July 2019, encountered some obstacles. Last December, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) expressed concerns that the deal could lead to higher beer and cider prices and substantially lessen competition in the market.

In response to these concerns, Asahi proposed selling two of its beer brands and three cider brands. The ACCC, on 1 April, said it would not oppose the deal, provided the five brands were divested. But the Foreign Investment Review Board had the final say in this matter.

The sale of the five brands is still ongoing.