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Foster's wine arm bid came from Cerberus: report
September 9, 2010 / 8:11 AM / 7 years ago

Foster's wine arm bid came from Cerberus: report

<p>Sparkling wine made by Fosters are displayed in a fridge at a liquor store in Melbourne September 8, 2010. Foster's Group Ltd, Australia's largest brewer, said it rejected a private equity offer worth up to $2.5 billion for its wine unit as too cheap and would continue with the split of its beer and wine businesses. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas )</p>

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Cerberus Capital Management CBS.UL is believed to be the firm that made an offer worth up to $2.5 billion for the wine business of Foster’s Group Ltd FGL.AX, The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday.

Foster‘s, Australia’s largest brewer, rejected the surprise bid for the world’s second-largest wine business on Wednesday, but left the door open to better offers.

Foster‘s, being advised by Gresham Advisory Partners and Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on the identity of the bidder for its Treasury Wine Estates business except to say it was an international private equity firm.

A Foster’s spokesman declined to comment on Thursday on the

<p>A six pack of Fosters beer is displayed in the fridge at a liquor store in Melbourne September 8, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas</p>

unsourced newspaper report.

New York-based Cerberus declined to comment.

<p>Red wine made by Fosters is displayed on the shelf of a liquor store in Melbourne September 8, 2010. Foster's Group Ltd , Australia's largest brewer, said it rejected a private equity offer worth up to $2.5 billion for its wine unit as too cheap and would continue with the split of its beer and wine businesses. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas</p>

The firm, named for the mythological three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades and known for its loss-making acquisition of Chrysler, has no investments in Australia.

Foster’s shares gained 1 cent to A$6.35, underperforming a 1 percent gain in the broader market . The shares jumped 4.5 percent jump on Wednesday after it rejected the offer of between A$2.3 billion and A$2.7 billion.

Late last month, sources said brewing groups SABMiller SAB.L and Japan’s Asahi Breweries (2502.T) were looking at the company’s beer operations, valued at more than $10 billion, which reap some of the highest profit margins in the brewing world.

Reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Megan Davies in New York; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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