Kofola Expands into the Beer Market: Acquires Majority Stake in Pivovary CZ Group

Beverage manufacturer Kofola is broadening its horizons by entering the beer market. The company announced on Wednesday that it is purchasing a majority stake in the Pivovary CZ Group, well-known producers of Holba, Zubr, and Litovel beers. This move marks Kofola’s foray into a new market segment, branching out from its traditional non-alcoholic drinks repertoire.

The transaction’s cost is yet to be disclosed by the parties involved. The deal awaits approval from the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS). In light of this potentially market-moving information, Kofola requested a suspension of trading with its shares on the Prague Stock Exchange.

Kofola’s General Manager, Jannis Samaras, expressed his confidence in the company’s ability to foster traditional and local brands with engaging stories. The opportunity to invest in breweries that produce brands with long histories, backed by sincere craftsmanship and modern production facilities, was a chance the company could not pass up. Samaras believes that his team’s experience can contribute significantly to their development.

Jaromír Dvorský, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Pivovary CZ Group, emphasized the importance of preserving the craft tradition of brewing beer, maintaining stable relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, and the company’s social responsibility. These elements were key criteria during the sale negotiations. He stated that they are pleased to have found a partner who will help maintain and further develop the quality of their beers while also strengthening their commercial expansion.

Kofola is a leading beverage manufacturer in Central Europe, operating 11 production plants. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it is known for brands such as Rajec, Korunní, and Ondrášovka mineral waters, Jupík, Ugo, Royal Crown Cola sweet drinks, and the Semtex energy drink, along with its namesake product.

Pivovary CZ Group is the fifth-largest brewing group in the Czech Republic. They employ nearly 500 people in their breweries in Hanušovice, Přerov, and Litovel and have been brewing Holba, Zubr, and Litovel beers for over 130 years. The majority, 51%, of the new company, Pivovary Triangl, is now owned by Kofola ČeskoSlovensko, with the investment group RSJ owning another 29% and Úsovsko owning 20%.