Hey, remember we were talking about how well Dos Equis is doing for Heineken USA? Keep in mind that Heineken USA is just the importer; the beer is brewed and owned by Mexican brewer/drinks conglomerate FEMSA (Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A. de C.V.). But I see in the Financial Times today that they are "in talks" to sell off their beer business, to either SABMiller or Heineken, in order to focus on their profitable Coca-Cola business. Here's why I posted, in light of the previous post:
Heineken USA has distributed Femsa's beer in the US since 2005, after Femsa's decision to extract itself from a distribution deal in 2004 with former partner Interbrew. Femsa and Heineken USA, a unit of the Dutch beermaker, signed a deal in April 2007 to extend their relationship for another 10 years.In other words...the strong growth FEMSA's Dos Equis and Tecate have shown in the U.S. isn't enough, because they aren't Corona. They have "underperformed." Sounds to me more like FEMSA doesn't have the stomach for the fight.
But the US partnership with Heineken has underperformed, industry insiders say, as Femsa's beers have struggled to compete against fellow Mexican brewer Modelo and its ubiquitous top beer, Corona.
But the need for consolidation in the Latin American brewing arena has taken on a new level of urgency in the wake of InBev's $52bn deal to buy Anheuser-Busch. As part of that transaction, InBev, the world's largest brewer, gained a 50 per cent stake in family-run Modelo.
What it really sounds to me is that the "need for consolidation" is lemming-like, brewers rushing to buy other brewers so they get big enough to fight for market share, when all they're actually doing is fattening themselves for the kill.
And who gets rich? Bankers. Who gets screwed? Brewers, and you, my friends, because huge brewers can and will throw their weight around and have an effect on the entire beer market, including crafts, just like Wal-Mart does in retail.
And what will happen when there are but three or four mega-monster brewers left? I hope someone's standing by Carlos Brito, ready with a videocamera:
When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.