Asia Beer Market Draws Global Brewers

The Asian beer market may change dramatically this week when a decision will be made regarding Heineken $4.1 billion bid for one of the region’s largest independent brewers.

Asia is the last market globally that still has lots of room for growth for the world’s top brewers. Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg combined only have 23% of the industry’s profits in the Asian-Pacific region but more than 60% of the sector’s profits in every other region of the world, according to Bernstein Research.

With sales lackluster in Europe and North America, major brewers are increasingly looking to expand throughout Asia, competing with local brands that have dominated the beer industry for decades. China and its 1.3 billion consumers have been the focus of most brewers’ expansion.

Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., Heineken’s takeover target, is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable beer companies in Asia. Through popular beer brands like Tiger and Bintang, APB holds as much as 50% market share in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, according to data provider Euromonitor, and has a strong presence in high-growth economies like Vietnam. It is one of themost attractive assets up for grabs in Asia. APB’s operations span 30 breweries, 40 brands and 14 Asian countries.

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