Hup Heineken Hup

Lots of googling was going on at work on Thursday morning. Search terms used were "Heineken, S&N, Carslberg, take-over,..." . It resulted in speculations that Carlsberg would withdraw its bid as they would have problems to finance the offer, the share of S&N was under pressure, that the due dilligence negotiations would have revealed that too much profit had been assigned to the UK (-> going to Heineken) that was actually from Kronenbourg (-> going to Carlsberg), ....

But just before noon we found that the "put-up or shut-up" deadline had been extended once again by 24 hours. Hmm no news yet. The googling could stop and we could go back to work :p.

When I arrived at work on Friday morning I expected not to find any news before noon either, but much to my surprise the announcement was already on our intranet and all the newspapers.

So what was destined to happen was no confirmed:
"the Carlsberg and Heineken consortium made a formal offer of 800 pence per share to take-over S&N and the S&N board of directors had agreed and recommended the bid. "
You can read about it here, here, here and here (in Dutch), and here, here, here and here (in English).

If my boss ever reads this: sorry I didn't make my planning last Friday. Somehow the remainder of the day was filled by
  • colleagues coming by and talking about getting taken over by Heineken,
  • by a meeting (combined with a 5-country conference call ) with 2 of our international S&N IS directors that are based in Belgium so they could share the information they had about the concortium and the next steps to all of their IS teams.
  • by a general personel information session by our French CEO showing the same Heineken, Carlsberg slides and the next steps

We learned that it will still take 3 up to 5 months before the deal and take-over will be closed, because all kinds of legal matters need to be taken care off and the EU commission needs to study all competition situations in each country involved etc... That is if no 3rd party makes a higher offer in the mean time. And afterwards it'll take a year to split S&N between Heineken and Carlsberg. Pfff I fear that all new projects will be on hold for a long time before they can be launched. :( :(

All in all, everyone remained rather calm in Belgium (especially after our CEO promised not to start selling 'karnemelk' in the cantine...whaaahaa he's funny). We had all seen it coming and now we're waiting to see what happens next. We didn't have to deal with the emotions as the Scottish who see one of the last remaining Scottish firms disappearing from the London Stock exchange and the last UK owned brewery going to foreign hands. Personally I see change as an opportunity for new projects and I hope they come soon. I hope Heineken will prove to be a dynamic firm.

And now I have to start training to get rid of our Belgian automatism to make very insulting jokes about Dutch beer and some brands starting with an H. Oh gosh that is not going to be easy! ;)


Jen said…
What is Karmemelk? Oops, I know I have it wrong.

These are the downsides to globalization - losing individual national businesses to multinational conglomerates. It's sad. I hope the changes are minimal!

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