Budvar Not For Sale – Yet

Current government not likely to position brewer for sale

The Czech state-owned brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP is not likely to be sold by the current government, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Tuesday.

The brewery has been fighting a long legal battle with U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch Cos. over the Budweiser brand, and last year the Czech government announced it would work to prepare Budvar for privatization – positioning it for a possible sale.

First the brewer has to be transformed into a joint-stock company from the current national enterprise to make the privatization legally possible. That has yet to happen.

Budvar, the brewer of the original Budweiser, has exported its lager to the U.S. under the name Czechvar since 2001 due to trademark issues. Budvar has fought with Anheuser-Busch in numerous countries over use of the Budweiser name, to which both companies claim an exclusive right.