So we all know the SABMiller may soon take over Foster’s, but it doesn’t seem like the shareholders were too happy:
Foster’s executives were forced to defend the takeover before around 200 shareholders at what is likely to be the brewer’s last annual meeting, saying the deal offered the certainty of cash in a volatile global environment.
“You are now presenting us with a bright future for Foster’s and you are turning around and getting rid of this company. It is disgraceful of the board,” said one small shareholder, Douglas Fleming, to widespread applause.
I’m not one for sentimental value of a big company, especially one like Foster’s, but it seems like SABMiller could care less about the beer. At least the recognize where the problem lies:
The company has been struggling with declining volumes as demand for traditional beers falls, and its market share has fallen to 50 percent from 55 percent. But it said there has been some improvement in consumer confidence in recent months.
“We believe that once Australia moves through this period of economic uncertainty, the beer category will return to the long-term trend of moderate growth,” Pollaers said.
Of course, now Australian’s have to work that much harder to find a good craft beer:
After SABMiller, the London-based brewer of Peroni, Miller Lite and Grolsch, takes control of Foster’s, about 90 percent of Australian brewing will be in offshore hands. The remaining 10 percent is mainly with small craft breweries.
Here’s to hoping our mates down under can see to it to join the growing chorus that is the craft beer movement.
[edited to correct inconsistent information regarding current ownership]