Carlton & United Breweries (or CUB) is Australia's biggest brewery business and was until recently the second largest unit within AB InBev Asia Pacific. In 2019, AB InBev called off plans to issue an IPO of around 15% of its entire Asia Pacific division including CUB because of market volatility. Soon afterwards, a deal was agreed to sell the Australian business to Asahi Breweries of Japan, and an IPO of the rest of AB InBev APAC took place a few weeks later. The sale to Asahi was finally completed in June 2020 with a final price tag of A$16bn (approx $10.7bn). CUB markets three of the five best-selling beers in the country - Carlton Draught, VB and Crown - and has a large collection of other mainstream, craft and imported brands. Carlton variants include premium packaged Carlton Dry, mid-strength Carlton Ligera and the group's first ever alcohol-free beer Carlton Zero, launched in 2018. Other mainstream brands in the portfolio include Pure Blonde, Cascade, Melbourne Bitter and Great Northern, and the company imports a selection of AB InBev's international beers including Budweiser and Corona Extra. This arrangement will continue under license following the Asahi buyout, but CUB was obliged by regulators to sell Stella Artois and Beck's (rights to which were acquired by Heineken Asia Pacific). CUB has also introduced or acquired a portfolio of craft brands including Goose Island, Wild Yak, 4 Pines and Pirate Life; these are now collected under the banner of Fire & Earth Ventures. In 2019, CUB acquired Riot Wine Co, which sells wine in kegs and cans. It also manages Asahi's Nikka whisky in Australia. CUB was for several years the Australian arm of global brewer SABMiller, before being absorbed by AB InBev during 2016. SABMiller acquired it in the 2011 takeover of Foster's Group, at one point the leading alcohol company in the Pacific region. Yet despite the international fame of its namesake Foster's lager, by far the largest proportion of Foster's Group's revenues was always derived from other brands. By the mid 2000s, the group was best known in Australia for market leading beers VB, Crown Lager and Carlton Draught. It was also home to an extensive wine portfolio, enhanced in 2005 by the high-priced acquisition of local producer Southcorp. However the wine business proved increasingly problematic between 2006 and 2008, leading to a series of management shake-ups. In 2011, the group split in two, demerging its wine interests as a separate company under the name Treasury Wine Estates. The remaining beer business was snapped up by SABMiller in 2011. Peter Filipovic is CEO CUB Australia & New Zealand, with Robert Iervasi as group CEO of Asahi Holdings Australia. Asahi's revenues from Australia in 2020 were approx US$ 2.9bn (Y305bn) in 2020.
Capsule checked 21st June 2021
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Historical profile information for CUB
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Oct 2020: "The Temple of Dry". Special Group offers up a temporary return to the Golden Age of Australian beer advertising with this inspired spot for Carlton Dry. You remember the Golden Age, don't you? Back in the Noughties, 'Big Ad', 'Utopia', 'Beer Chase' and the tongue that leaves your mouth to get its own beer, among others, reinvented the traditional Aussie lager commercial for the likes of Carlton, Toohey's and Pure Blonde. Crazy, surreal piss-takes of what ads were expected to do or say. Then suddenly, it was all over, and it was back to literal depictions of ingredients, quality, carb content and good times with your mates. Where did the sense of humour go? But from time to time, one of those crazy ad concepts breaks through again. Enjoy it while it lasts; it might be a while till the next one.
Adbrands Daily Update 19th Jul 2019: Just a few days after the collapse of plans to issue an IPO of its Asia Pacific assets, AB InBev announced the sale of Australian arm Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi Breweries. It includes all CUB's own brands as well as local rights to the AB InBev import portfolio. A price tag of US $11.3bn makes this Asahi's biggest ever international purchase. It follows the acquisition of another chunk of what was once SABMiller two years ago: Peroni, Grolsch and Urquell in Europe. It will also mean that both of Australia's two dominant brewers are Japanese-owned. (Kirin already owns CUB's main rival Lion). AB InBev may also divest other parts of its APAC division; or may attempt to restart an IPO for the smaller business.
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Jul 2019: The upcoming IPO of AB InBev Asia Pacific will almost certainly be the biggest ever for the global food and beverage industry, topping Kraft Foods' 2001 float. The group aims to issue around 15% of the unit's equity, raising just under $10bn on a $63.7bn valuation. Launch date is set for July 19th. AB InBev APAC is the #2 brewer by sales in China and the local leader in Australia. Other key markets are South Korea, India and Vietnam.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Brewery Fresh". Ah! The return of the crazy Australian beer ad! It's been 12 years since Carlton's iconic "Big Ad", which ushered in a succession of less epic but equally oddball campaigns over the next few years. Then suddenly, with a decline in local beer sales, it all got a bit serious and a bit earnest after around 2012. That drought may now be over, helped perhaps by the fact that brewer CUB is now owned by the more worldly AB InBev. This spot from Clemenger BBDO marks a return to those good old days when beer ads weren't required to make sense or explain the heritage or organic properties of a particular brew. They just have to make you laugh.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Dec 2013: Ads of the Week: Hello Beer. Australian beer rides to the rescue with a wondrous collection of side-splitting sight gags from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne for Carlton Dry. These are running on Australian TV as a series of 15 second spots, but here's the full compilation and it's truly a thing of beauty. Ladies, we are men. This is what we do when you're not around. Deal with it.
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