Private equity groups try to sniff out Foster’s dealM&A

Marion Dakers
PRIVATE equity groups were circling Australian brewer Foster’s yesterday, after the firm rejected a surprise A$2.7bn (£1.6bn) offer for its wine operations from US investment group Cerberus capital.

Private equity groups Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG are thought to be working on offers for the ailing wine business, after Foster’s said on Wednesday it would still try to split from its beer business.

Reports also pointed to rival brewer SAB Miller as a potential bidder for the world’s second-largest wine firm.

Sales of Foster’s wine, including Beringer, Penfolds and Wolf Blass, have been hit by a deep US recession and a trend away from low-end, bulk wines in Australia. The private equity groups are thought to be using the firm’s woes to try and trigger a sale of the entire company.