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Austria: Beer & Water Companies to merge


Beer maker Ottakringer Brauerei AG and mineral water producer Vöslauer AG are to merge, the family brewery chief  Sigi Menz announced today .

The two firms have been part of the same holding company, but they will now become formally fused in a deal to be closed at a special shareholders’ meeting on 21 September and backdated to 1 January 2009, he said.

Menz, who will be chairman of the board of the new firm, added the name of the merged company would be “Ottakringer Getränke AG” and that Ottakringer’s foreign subsidiaries and Vöslauer would be listed on the Vienna stock exchange along with Ottakringer under the new name.

Christiane Wenckheim will manage Ottakringer, and Alfred Hudler will manage Vöslauer.

The Wenckheim and Menz families will have an 88-per-cent interest in the new firm, up from the 76-per-cent interest they have had in Ottakringer.

The new firm is expected to have annual turnover of around 200 million Euros. Ottakringer had turnover of 83 million Euros last year, its Bavarian subsidiary Innstadt Brauerei had turnover of 10 million Euros and its Hungarian subsidiary Pecs had turnover of 28 million Euros. Vöslauer had turnover of 77 million Euros last year.

The news comes after recent figures showed Ottakringer bucked trends in the Austrian brewing business by turning in good first quarter results.

Its domestic sales rose 0.6 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009 while Austria’s overall brewing industry shrank by 10.6 per cent.

Menz said the reason for the company’s relatively good performance could be that Ottakringer had recently become the first Austrian beer given the “AMA-Gütesiegel” seal of approval by the Austrian Agriculture Association (AMA).

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Sunday, January 21, 12:56 am

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