Indonesia: Confusion about ownership of major brewery

Delta Djakarta, a subsidiary of San Miguel Malaysia, has denied reports that the Jakarta administration has increased its blocking stake in the Indonesian company. "Since the beginning, the Jakarta administration’s share in Delta Djakarta has been unchanged at 26.25 percent. There has been no increase, ”Delta Djakarta’s President Commissioner Sarman Simanjorang was quoted by last Friday.

The confusion was caused by a notification of the The Indonesia Stock Exchange on Feb. 25 where it was reported that the administration's shares in the company had risen by nearly 3 percent, from 23.33 percent to 26.25 percent.

Sarman pointed out that the apparent increase in the administration's shares was the result of a merger between the administration, which formerly owned  23.34 percent of the shares and DKI Jakarta Investment Investment Management Agency (BP-IPM Jaya), another shareholding unit owned by the administration, which was already dissolved in 2000 and which formerly held 2.91 percent.

"It’s not true. The news circulating has been corrected by the journalists. The truth is that the shares of the DKI Provincial Government which have been bundled under one name, will be sold later," wrote Jakarta’s Governor, Anies Rasyid Baswedan on his Twitter account on Saturday.

During the last elections the governor already promised to sell the administration's shares in the brewery citing that its ownership in the company did not contribute to the livelihood of Jakartans. Most likely buyer is Philippine beer producer San Miguel, that already holds a majority interest in Delta Djakarta and which could increase its ownership through a purchase to 84.5 percent.

Delta Djakarta is today one of the biggest players in Indonesia's beer industry. It is the manufacturer and distributor of various beer brands including Anker, Carlsberg, San Miguel, and Kuda Putih. The company is also a key figure in the country's non-alcoholic beverages market; with brands Sodaku and Soda Ice among Indonesia's top-sellers.

The brewery was founded in July 1931 by German brewer Beck's as the Archipel Brouweriji Compagnie (Archipelago Brewery Co.) in Batavia, which is now known as Jakarta. Since then leadership of Delta Djakarta has changed hands many times. In World War II, control of the company was turned over to a Dutch firm before being passed on to a Japanese company in 1942. Three years later, the Dutch regained control and later San Miguel was able to acquire a majority share in the company.

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