Heineken re­moves SAB’s Am­s­tel Li­cence

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WHAT HAP­PENED HEINEKEN – the Dutch owner of Am­s­tel Lager – re­voked SAB’s 40-year-old li­cence to pro­duce Am­s­tel. As SAB’s lead­ing pre­mium beer, Am­s­tel ac­counts for 9% of the com­pany’s beer vol­umes in SA. SAB is a sub­sidiary of SABMiller and is the dom­i­nant lo­cal brewer. The loss of Am­s­tel would con­sti­tute $80m rev­enue loss for the com­pany.

WHAT OTH­ERS SAID A COLUM­NIST in the Busi­ness Re­port wrote: “…for the first time in sev­eral decades, South African beer drinkers are fac­ing the de­light­ful prospect of a se­ri­ous chal­lenge to SAB’s dom­i­nance.” A beer in­dus­try an­a­lyst from Mac­quarie, Ju­lian Wentzel, said that SAB had 96% of the mar­ket. The ab­sence of a lead­ing brand in this key growth mar­ket would mean SAB faces real com­pe­ti­tion for the first time.

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