Heineken removes SAB’s Amstel Licence
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.