Company or individual details
- Asahi Group Holdings Ltd
- Asahi Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd135 315 767
- Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV
- ABI Financing Pty Ltd615 290 830
The Asahi Undertaking
On 1 April 2020, the ACCC announced it had accepted an undertaking (the Asahi Undertaking) given by Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. and its subsidiary Asahi Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd pursuant to s 87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) in connection with Asahi’s proposal to acquire all issued shares of ABI Australia Holding Pty Ltd (ABIH) (the Proposed Acquisition). ABIH is owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev SANV (ABI). Through ABIH, ABI operates Carlton United Breweries (CUB).
The ACCC concluded that, in the absence of the Asahi Undertaking (and the ABI Undertaking discussed further below), the Proposed Acquisition
- would lead to a significant consolidation in the market for the supply of Cider Products in Australia (Cider Market), whereby there would be a lessening of competitive constraints and the worsening of market outcomes for consumers; and
- would remove Asahi as a vigorous and effective competitor in the concentrated market for the supply of Beer Products in Australia (Beer Market).
The objective of the Asahi Undertaking is to address the ACCC’s competition concerns as set out above that would otherwise arise as a consequence of the Proposed Acquisition. The Asahi Undertaking aims to achieve this objective by placing obligations on Asahi to:
- ensure that each of the Divestiture Businesses are sold to an ACCC Approved Purchaser that will result in the creation or strengthening of a viable, effective, stand-alone, independent and long term competitor(s) in the Cider Market and Beer Market;
- ensure the purchaser(s) of the Divestiture Businesses has all the necessary associated assets and rights to compete effectively with Asahi in the Cider Market and/or Beer Market;
- maintain the economic viability, marketability, competitiveness and goodwill of the Divestiture Businesses prior to divestiture; and
- provide for the effective oversight of Asahi’s compliance with the Asahi Undertaking.
The ABI Undertaking
To support the Asahi Undertaking (outlined above), the ACCC announced it had also accepted an undertaking given by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI) and its subsidiary ABI Australia Financing Pty Ltd pursuant to s87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) in connection with the Proposed Acquisition (the ABI Undertaking).
The objective of the ABI Undertaking is to ensure that ABI promptly facilitates, and not unreasonably withholds its consent to, the disposal of the Divestiture Businesses to an Approved Purchaser pursuant to the Asahi Undertaking.