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Australian Watchdog OKs Lion’s Fermentum Buy

The ACCC will not oppose Lion’s proposed acquisition of Fermentum. Fermentum and Lion manufacture a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including beer, cider, alcoholic seltzer and kombucha.

The ACCC focused its investigation on whether the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the supply of beer, given Fermentum’s popular flagship brand Stone & Wood.

“The ACCC was initially concerned that the proposed acquisition would remove a large, popular independent craft brewer that has plans to expand its capacity and potentially compete more aggressively against the two major brewers in Australia, being Lion and Asahi/Carlton & United Breweries” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

“However, our investigation concluded that a wide range of alternative independent craft beers will remain available in the market even if the transaction goes through.”

The ACCC also concluded that overall, the Fermentum brands do not compete closely with Lion’s products, as Fermentum’s products are generally in a higher price bracket and Lion’s craft-style brands are generally perceived as mainstream.

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