31 Jul 2010

Some victory

Last Thursday the European Highest Court issued their final verdict: AB-InBev can not register "Budweiser" as a European trademark for their beer, rejecting the giant's appeal against the ruling of the European General Court.

This, of course, means an important victory for Budějovický Budvar because, besides putting an end to more than a decade of judicial comings and goings, it reinforces their position in the many legal disputes both companies still have.

However, the people who are most satisfied with this are those from the Ministry of Agriculture. With this ruling they will be able to fetch a higher price once they turn the brewery into a joint stock company, the brand is its most valuable asset.

As I've already said, this will be a de facto privatisation. I've been thinking about it and this is how I imagine it: Once Budvar becomes joint stock co. the government will look for a strategic partner, just as they've announced. That partner will most likely be either an investment fund of foreign capitals or a brewing multinational (my favourite is still Carlsberg, but AB-InBev should not be discarded). Eventually, the government will decide that it is sensible to leave the running of the company to the "more experienced" people of their partner and, from then on, well, you can imagine what will happen.

Come to think of it, this victory gives more reason to worry than to celebrate.

Na Zdraví!

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3 comments:

  1. It should be more of a victory for Mestansky Pivoar as the oldest Budweiser brewery still in existence. As much as I love Budvar, I do think they are taking the piss a bit by claiming the rights to the name when they were formed after AB, and 100 years after what became Samson.

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  2. I hadn't thought of that, and you are right.

    I read once that the owners of that brewery wanted to sell it and were expecting to get 1 billion CZK or some silly price like that. I don't know what happened with it, but I wouldn't be surprised that, in view of this recent news, they have another go at it...

    (BTW, very clever of them, let the state assume all the legal fees for this and rejoice in an eventual victory)

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  3. It tastes now of a typical constructed beer. top note of hop oil separate from the malt, personally I don't care what happens to this once great beer, the Czechs have failed to look after it so why worry.

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