The announcement coincides with the confirmation that AB InBev has successfully completed the deal to acquire SABMiller.
As part of the acquisition of SAB Miller, AB InBev was forced to sell a number of its and SAB Miller’s brands in Asia and Europe in order to meet the demands of competition regulators. Within this it offloaded a number of brands, including Grolsch and Peroni, to Asahi.
Asahi’s investment is part of Asahi Europe’s strategy to lead the development of the continent’s Super Premium Beer sector, the company said.
Gary Haigh, managing director of Asahi UK, said: “Our Super Premium Brand portfolio is powered by a seamless distribution network, expert customer marketing and sales capability – this means we can extend and grow Asahi’s ambition in the UK. Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been a key driver in the growth of the UK Super Premium sector, which is now worth £1.3bn and accounts for more than a quarter of the London beer market. With the backing of the Asahi Group we will be able to continue our strategies for the brands, building on their success and allowing our customers to benefit from meeting the demands of UK consumers for high quality beer brands.”
Haigh reports into Hector Gorosabel, ceo of Asahi Europe. He said: “Today marks the beginning of what I am confident will become one of the world’s great beer companies. Consumers and customers are becoming ever-more discerning about the quality and provenance of the brands they choose. Asahi Europe has the brands, the agility and most importantly, the people, to deliver exceptional experiences to both.”
Asahi Europe is responsible for a range of super premium brands across the UK and Ireland, including Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Pilsner Urquell, St Stefanus and Kozel.