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Family business Coopers to become Australia's largest brewer

By Giulia Cambieri

Family-controlled Coopers Brewery says it will become the largest Australian-owned brewer once a planned takeover of rival Foster’s is completed.

Foster’s, the maker of VB and Crown Lager, has agreed to an offer worth AUS$9.9 billion (€7.2 billion) from London-based brewer SABMiller, producer of Grolsch and Miller Lite.

Although it only controls 4% of the market, the Foster's takeover should make Coopers, which will enter its 150th year in 2012, the biggest Australian brewery.

The Foster's deal follows Japanese-owned Kirin’s acquisition of Lion Nathan, another Australian brewery, in April 2009.

In a statement released on 22 September, the company said it believes being Australian owned will provide Coopers "with strong marketing opportunities in the future".

“Being the largest Australian-owned brewer … represents the reward for 150 years of hard work in brewing by the Cooper family,” said Tim Cooper, the company’s managing director, adding that Coopers will continue “to vigorously maintain its independence”.

Coopers was founded by Thomas Cooper in 1862 in Adelaide, South Australia. The company is currently headed by fifth-generation members Tim Cooper, who joined the family business in 1990, and chairman Glenn Cooper.  

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