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Foster's May Seek Seagram's Aussie Spirits Unit

November 01, 1999|Bloomberg News

Foster's Brewing Group Ltd., Australia's No. 1 brewer, might announce today that it seeks to buy Seagram Co.'s wine and spirits business in Australia and New Zealand.

Melbourne-based Foster's, which makes beer and wine, will today bid $64 million for the Seagram operations, the Nine Network's Business Sunday program said without citing sources.

Foster's declined to comment. The company doesn't own any global spirit brands, although it sells beer and wine worldwide under brands such as Foster's Lager and Wolf Blass.

Montreal-based Seagram, whose businesses include Universal Pictures to Absolut Vodka, has remade itself in less than five years from a beverage giant to one of the world's biggest entertainment companies. Its alcohol brands include Chivas Regal and Black Douglas scotch whiskeys.

The proposed sale will form part of Seagram Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s plan to sell about $1 billion of assets over two years. In June, Seagram sold its G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouet sparkling wine brands to buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. for $310 million.

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