There’s more news in the Budvar privatization saga: the Czech government’s tender for an adviser is now complete, with the contract going to the Prague law firm of Kříž & Bělina, as the Prague Daily Monitor reported yesterday, via Hospodářské noviny (subscription required). Kříž & Bělina will help the Czech government take the initial step toward privatization, that of turning Budvar into a joint-stock company.
Though the path forward remains unclear, we now know four of the parties stumbling down it: the Czech government, Budvar, Kříž & Bělina and, inevitably, Anheuser-Busch, described in the article as “considered the most serious bidder in the privatisation.” The article also takes a stab in the dark at Budvar’s worth, suggesting 1 billion dollars or perhaps even 1 billion euros.
Why so much? Well, it’s not what Budvar sells, currently just 1.25 million hectoliters of high-grade lager per year. It’s what Budvar’s regional rights to the name Budweiser might keep Anheuser-Busch from selling.