Interbrew Takes Stake in Diebels
Jul. 27, 2001
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Belgium's Interbrew NV, the world's second-largest brewer in terms of sales volume, has taken an 80 percent stake in Germany's Diebels GmbH & Co KG.
The Belgian group said Friday that the acquisition marks its first entry the lucrative German beer market. Interbrew declined to provide terms of the deal, but it said that the German market ``has enormous consolidation potential.''
Last week, Interbrew placed the highest preliminary bid to buy Germany's Beck's beer, owned by brewer Brauerei Beck GmbH & Co. Interbrew reportedly offered 1.64 billion euros ($1.43 billion) for the 128-year-old German brewer.
The move into the German market marks a shift for Interbrew, whose flagship brand is Stella Artois. Interbrew had maintained it was not interested in the German market because it is too fragmented and there are too many brands.
Interbrew is No. 2 in sales volume behind St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Cos.