Interbrew SA

14 Jun 2000

Simmons & Simmons advises Interbrew on acquisition of Bass Brewers

Interbrew S.A., the brewer of Stella Artois and Labatt, announced on 14 June 2000 its acquisition of the Bass Brewers business from Bass PLC. The acquisition marks the successful end for Interbrew of its participation in a competitive auction of Bass Brewers which has been hotly contested for some months.

The consideration to be paid by Interbrew will be £2.3 billion. The acquisition is subject to Bass PLC shareholder and regulatory approval.

Bass Brewers is the second largest brewer in the United Kingdom. It owns six breweries in the United Kingdom and three in the Czech Republic. Bass Brewers owns a brand portfolio which includes leading brands such as Bass, Carling, Tennents, Worthington and Caffreys. The terms of the agreement include the acquisition of the Bass name.

The transaction was signed just over two weeks after Interbrew announced its acquisition of the Whitbread Beer Company Business for £400 million. The two acquisitions mean Interbrew now has a combined UK market share of 32%.

Charles Fuller (Partner, Corporate Finance) led a large team with co-operation from colleagues in a number of the firm's practice areas. Tim Field (Corporate Finance) played a major role co-ordinating all aspects of the transaction. Other members of the team included partner Richard Armitage (Supply and Distribution), partner Jeremy Sivyer (Supply and Distribution), partner Ian Hammond (Accounting issues), partner Martin Smith (Competition), partner Paul Hale (Tax), partner Monica Ma (Pensions), partner Kathy Mylrea (Environment), partner Nick Fisher (Finance), partner Mark Norris (Finance), partner Jeremy Morton (Information Technology) and partner Charles Pollock (Property).

The recent Whitbread acquisition was led by Stuart Evans (Head of Corporate Finance in London) and partner Colin Leaver (Corporate Finance). Stuart Evans had overall responsibility for co-ordinating the two Interbrew acquisition teams as they worked simultaneously on the deals.

Charles Fuller commented:
"The competitive auction process involved some of the world's biggest names in brewing and we are delighted to have been part of the winning team."

Stuart Evans commented:
"Simmons & Simmons is pleased to have acted for Interbrew in these two exciting transactions. Successfully running these two large acquisitions simultaneously was a significant achievement for both Interbrew and Simmons & Simmons."

Lehman Brothers International (Europe) acted as financial advisers to Interbrew and KPMG advised on tax, accounting and pension valuation.

Bass PLC were advised by Freshfields and Ernst & Young.

Notes for editors:

Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at www.simmons-simmons.com.

2. The Corporate Department at Simmons & Simmons comprises over 220 legal staff (115 in London), including 47 partners (27 in London). It advises on the whole range of corporate finance activity, and mergers and acquisitions as well as other corporate law matters for listed and unlisted companies, in the United Kingdom and overseas.

3. For further information, please contact:
Charles Fuller, Partner, Corporate Finance
Louise Resnick, Media Relations Manager