Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

Tag: privatization

Budweiser Budvar Privatization News


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.

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Budvar Sale Update


There’s a new twist in the Budvar sale story. As most readers of these pages are probably already well aware, Budějovický Budvar (pictured above) is the last brewery to remain Czech national property and its privatization seems to be proposed about every two years. Due to Budvar’s claim to the name Budweiser and its numerous ongoing legal battles with Anheuser-Busch on the issue, many argue that Budvar should not ever be privatized, lest it be bought by the maker of American Budweiser and shuttered — or worse, forced to brew bad beer.

Last month I mentioned that the current Czech government has announced a tender for its legal advisor in the sale of Budvar — a first step toward privatization. Yesterday, Forbes reported that the proposed sale of Budvar will not take place before the current government leaves office in 2010, contrary to what was suggested in December.

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