Belgian brewery Bosteels, which manufactures beers like Kwak and Tripel Karmeliet, has finally found a buyer. Not Heineken or Duvel Moortgat, like the rumours stated, but AB InBev.
Market with plenty of potential
AB InBev is rumoured to have paid more than 200 million euro for the brewery, strengthening its position in the crafts beer market. Unlike the (lager) beer market, the crafts beer market still has plenty of growth potential and AB InBev's position in this market is not that strong right now. Particularly the blond craft beers, like Duvel and Tripel Karmeliet, are on the rise: "We have an annual 20 to 30 % growth in France and the Netherlands", CEO Antoine Bosteels told Belgian newspaper De Tijd. Bosteels brews about 145,000 hectoliters of beer annually, about half of which is Tripel Karmeliet.
Nevertheless, AB InBev's acquisition is a surprise and not only because Heineken and Duvel Moortgat were rumoured to be interested. AB InBev also already has quite a dominant position in Belgium, but it apparently has assurances that this deal will not run into any issues with the Belgian Competition Authority.