The Carlsberg Group has acquired 28.5% of the shares in Viacer Holding which is the controlling shareholder of Super Bock Group (SBG), holding 56% of the shares in the company. The other 44% of the shares in SBG are owned by Carlsberg. Following the transaction, the Carlsberg Group’s direct and indirect ownership in SBG makes up 60%.
Seller of the stake in Viacer is Portugese group Arsopi, a company that produces and assembles metal equipment for the dairy, wine and beverages, chemical and petrochemical industry. The company was established in 1942 by Arlindo Soares de Pinho, whose initials stand for the group’s name, and it has since then grown into an international group with subsidiaries in Spain and Brazil.
In February, ownership of Viacer was already reshuffled when Banco BPI and its pension fund sold its 25% in Viacer to Violas SGPS, a family owned Portguese holding company that could increase its stake in Viacer from 46.5% to 71.5% while the remaining 28.5% remained with Arsopi. The sales price at this time was reported with €233 million which gives an indication to the price Carlsberg has now paid for its 28.5% although the Danish brewer did not officially reveal details about the financial terms of the transaction.
After the recent transaction, the new ownership structure of Viacer which stays an independent company and continues to control SBG consists of 71.5% being owned by Violas and 28% belonging now to Carlsberg.
SBG is the market leader in beverages in Portugal, holding a market share of 47% with a strong brand portfolio, including brands such as Super Bock and Carlsberg . Besides beer, SBG also produces bottled water, soft drinks, cider and wine with brands like Pedras Salgadas, Somersby Cider and Vitalis. In addition the company is also present in the segments malt production and marketing and the tourism business, owning two leading attractions in the Trás-os-Montes region: the Parque de Vidago and Parque de Pedras Recreational and Thermal Water Parks.
SBG produces more than 3 million hectoliters of beer annually with exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. 30% of the company’s turnover is generated in export. While Angola is still a major export market of the group, the country’s share of export has been decreasing in recent years due to a slack in the economy of the African country. In turn, export to China has doubled this year, making it the most important export market for SBG.
Last year, the group rebranded its company name from Unicer to Super Bock Group to celebrate 90 years of production of its major beer brand and reflect the importance of the brand to the company (inside.beer, 20.11.2017). SBG reported in 2017 a profit of €51.3 million.
Commenting on the transaction, Carlsberg Group CEO Cees ‘t Hart said: “We are pleased that we have increased our indirect shareholding in Super Bock Group. It is a very strong business with a market leading position in Portugal, offering appealing long-term opportunities.”