03 July 2006
SABMiller acquires Sparks(R) and Steel Reserve(R) brands
London and Johannesburg, 3 July 2006. SABMiller plc announces that it has
entered into an agreement to acquire the Sparks(R) and Steel Reserve(R) brands
and related trademarks from US contract brewing partner McKenzie River
Corporation ('McKenzie River') for a cash consideration of US$215m. In addition,
SABMiller and McKenzie River have agreed an ongoing new product development
Sparks(R) is a citrus flavored premium malt beverage with added caffeine,
taurine, guarana and ginseng and is the leader in the high growth caffeinated
alcoholic malt beverage category. The brand is available in three variants:
Sparks Orange(R) (original), Sparks Plus(R) and Sparks Light(R). Sparks(R)
achieved a compound annual growth rate of 107 percent between 2003 and 2005,
selling 317,000 hl in 2005.
Steel Reserve(R) is a high gravity lager which is slow brewed for a minimum of
28 days. It is the leading brand in the US high gravity lager category and has
grown at a 35 percent compound annual growth rate between 2003 and 2005 with a
total of 1.6 million hl sold in 2005.
McKenzie River is a San Francisco based beverage marketing firm with an
impressive track record for innovation aimed at developing new products. The
company, which was founded in 1987 by President Minott Wessinger, launched the
Steel Reserve(R) brand in 1997 and the Sparks(R) brand in 2002.
Completion of the transaction is subject to the customary review by U.S.
Norman Adami, President and CEO of Miller Brewing Company, commented:
'Sparks and Steel Reserve will have an immediate positive impact on our growth
profile. In addition, our new product development relationship with Minott
Wessinger connects us with a very special guy when it comes to innovation.'
Notes to editors:
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or
distribution agreements in over 60 countries across five continents. The group's
brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest
bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$2,626 million adjusted
pre-tax profit and a turnover of US$15,307 million. SABMiller plc is listed on
the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
This announcement is available on www.sabmiller.com
For further information on the Sparks(R) and Steel Reserve(R) brands please
SABMiller plc Tel: +44 20 7659 0100
Sue Clark Director of Corporate Affairs Tel: +44 20 7659 0184
Gary Leibowitz Senior Vice President, Investor Tel: +44 20 7659 0119
Nigel Fairbrass Head of Media Relations Tel: +44 20 7659 0105
This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the
solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the
'Company') or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to
enter into investment activity.
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