AB InBev and Efes merge in Russia

The merged company will take about a quarter of the domestic beer market.
The leader of the world beer market Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and Turkish Anadolu Efes agreed to merge their business in Russia and Ukraine. In a joint venture, which will be called AB InBev-Efes, each of the parties will receive an equal share and the same number of seats on the board of directors. The merged company will take about 25% of the Russian beer market - the second place after Carlsberg and almost a two-fold gap from Heineken.

On signing an agreement on the intention to unite business in Russia and Ukraine AB InBev and Anadolu Efes announced today. The resulting company will be called AB InBev-Efes, the president of SUN InBev (Russian subsidiary of AB InBev) Dmitry Shpakov told Kommersant. "We are planning that this transaction will take place through the merger of our companies' assets, no monetary transactions will be conducted," he said. According to him, in the joint venture AB InBev and Efes will receive equal shares. The deal will be closed no later than the first half of 2018 after the approval of Russian and Ukrainian regulators.

According to Mr. Shpakov, both companies will receive an equal number of seats on the board of directors of AB InBev-Efes. It will be headed by Tuncay Ozilhan, chairman of the board of directors of Anadolu Group and Anadolu Efes. Strategic and operational management will be engaged in Dmitry Shpakov as president of the merged company, its financial director will be CEO Efes Rus Roy Cornish.

AB InBev owns five plants in different cities of Russia. The company's portfolio includes Bud, Stella Artois, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, and others. According to SPARK-Interfax, in 2016, SUN InBev's revenue was 41.66 billion rubles, a net loss of 1 , 88 billion rubles.

Efes has six plants in Russia. Among the brands of the company are Velkopopovicky Kozel, Efes, "Stary Melnik", "Golden Barrel", etc. The turnover of JSC "Brewery Moscow-Efes" in the past year amounted to 38.55 billion rubles, net profit - 1.99 billion rub.

The decision of the companies to unite in the markets of Russia and Ukraine is connected with the closed AB InBev in 2016, the transaction for the acquisition of SABMiller. As a result, AB InBev, already the world's largest producer of beer, has increased its share in the global market to more than 30%. She bought SABMiller had a 24% stake in Anadolu Efes. This share in the Turkish company SABMiller was received in 2012 in exchange for its business in Russia. As Mr. Shpakov said, different options were discussed, as AB InBev to derive maximum benefit from the received share in Anadolu Efes, in order to increase the economic efficiency for both companies: "Today's agreement is the result of our long and hard work in this direction."

According to Rosstat, in 2016, 780.6 million decaliters of beer were sold in Russia. According to Nielsen, at the end of last year the market leader was the Danish concern Carlsberg with a share of 34%. AB InBev and Efes had 13% and 14% respectively. The fourth place in the Dutch Heineken - 12%. Thus, as a result of the merger of business in Russia, AB InBev and Efes will be able to break away from Heineken, taking about a quarter of the market. Also, according to Dmitry Shpakov, after the deal is completed, "the merged company will strive to become the number one on the Russian market and will be able to strengthen its leadership positions in Ukraine."

After completion of the transaction, the merged AB InBev-Efes will consolidate the financial results of its operations in the markets of Russia and Ukraine within the framework of Anadolu Efes reporting, Dmitry Shpakov says. AB InBev will no longer include in its global financial results financial results in the markets of Russia and Ukraine, but will reflect the return of investments in the joint venture in accordance with its share. The results of the company's activities in Russia and Ukraine AB InBev will replace in its global reporting on revenues from the combined group.