Expatica news

Interbrew ponders brewery closures

3 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian brewer Interbrew, which claims to be the world’s largest beermaker, has confirmed that is considering shutting down a number of its breweries.

Speaking over the weekend, Interbrew Chief Executive John Brock said he believed his firm had too many facilities.

“We don’t need 75 breweries,” he said.

“We have got to get a more integrated business that is far more cost effective than it is today,” he added.

Brock said it had not yet been decided how many breweries would be shut down or where closures may take place. 

Earlier this year, Interbrew merged with Brazilian beermaker AmBev to create what the company billed as the largest brewer in the world.

Meanwhile, Interbrew has also confirmed that it has no immediate problems with the Belgian tax system.

In a statement issued after a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and Finance Minister Didier Reynders, Interbrew mangers said they had no pressing concerns linked to their firm’s Belgian tax bill.

Analysts say the move was designed to quell recent rumours that the firm was considering moving its administrative headquarters to a more ‘tax-friendly’ country like neighbouring Luxembourg.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news