Final Word from Thursday, November 24, 2016

Outgoing CEO Jiří Boček of Budvar told the tale of how the management of Anheuser-Busch completely changed how it did business after the brewery was taken over by InBev. The Americans, he told Týden, were tough businessmen who also understood beer. The new Brazilian-Belgian owners started behaving entirely differently, he said, and Budvar's deal with AB to export Czechvar to the U.S. ended. Does Plzeňský Prazdroj face similar upheaval if it's bought by someone who understands beer even less than InBev? Why would Petr Kellner of PPF be interested in a fast-moving consumer good? Some people think it's actually a real-estate play. PPF could consolidate Prazdroj's assets in fewer sites, and perhaps even farm out some of the brewing to someone else. A property play could even be combined with a leveraged recapitalization of the kind Zdeněk Bakala used at OKD: Kellner loads Prazdroj up on debt, pays himself €1bn in dividends and floats the company to gullible investors ... or passes it on to the Chinese. However it turns out, don't expect Kellner to leave much froth. [Czech Republic SABMiller United States]

Glossary of difficult words

to defroth - to remove the foam from a beer;

upheaval - a sudden or violent change or disruption;

fast-moving consumer goods - products that are sold quickly and at relatively low cost;

play - move; endeavor;

to farm out - to turn over work to someone else to be performed, usually under contract;

leveraged - using borrowed capital;

to load up on - to take on in large amounts;

to float - to sell shares on a stock exchange;

gullible - easily persuaded to believe something;

froth - foam (on beer); froth on beer is considered by Czechs to be very important.

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