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The members of two unions that negotiate the new collective agreement with SABMiller National Brewery unanimously approved a decision to go on strike at an extraordinary general meeting.
Members of the Brewing Industry Union of Panama (STICP) and the Manufacture and Sale of Soft Drinks, Beverages, Beer, Spirits Industrial Union (SITRAFCOREBGASCELIS) joined the meeting held on Sunday June 28, 2015.

National Brewery of Panama, owned by the British-South African transnational SABMiller, rejected to negotiate a new collective agreement with the strategic alliance of two unions in the company. The arrogant and uncompromising attitude of SABMiller has stressed the industrial relations in Central America.

Where beer brands are actually brewed has been in the news again this week and the argument seems to be one of geography rather than one of taste.

In the latest round of disputes, Anheuser-Busch InBev stood accused of failing to detail that its Beck's brand, which hails from Germany, has been produced in the US for the US market since 2012. The affair has cost the company a US$3.5m settlement and a pledge to partially refund consumers up to US$50 per household.

Strengths

• Largest global beer company with annual sales of more than USD40bn.
• Dominant position in two of the world's most profitable beer markets: Brazil and the US.
• Total debt to EBITDA has been cut down from a five-year high of 7.8 to 2.9 in its last financial year, following InBev's USD52bn acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in 2008.
• By far the most profitable of the big three beer companies; the other two are SABMiller and Heineken.

Weaknesses

SABMiller has expressed an interest in growing its partnership with The Coca-Cola Co in the Latin America region. The UK-headquartered company, which agreed with Coca-Cola last year to create the world's tenth largest Coca-Cola bottler, in Africa, has bottling operations for the soft drinks group in El Salvador and Honduras. At an analysts' briefing in London on June 22, SABMiller flagged that it is keen to "deepen our partnership" with Coca-Cola in the region.

Earlier this year, the Kunstmann brewery, part of Heineken Holding CCU began unilaterally to make changes to the machinery of the factory in Valdivia. Workers reminded the company that it cannot take these measures without consulting the trade union and the company in response dismissed the 15 percent of union members.

Is Diageo about to be taken over by a heavyweight Brazilian investment fund? That's the big question after a Brazilian magazine reported on Friday that 3G Capital was sizing up a bid.

3G was founded by billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann and owns one-fifth of Anheuser-Busch InBev, so the experience is in place. Furthermore, Diageo's New York share price on Friday saw its biggest jump since 2008, meaning that some people clearly think a deal is on the cards - or at least, as is the way with the hyper-sensitive stock market, some people believe that other people will think a big deal is on the cards...

Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 62% surge in first quarter net profit, accompanied by a 1.4% dip in net sales. Here is the company’s global performance, region by region:

North America – volumes down 5.6%, sales down 3.8%

The company was hit by a 6% decline in sales-to-wholesalers in the US, which it blamed on a difficult comparable, as well as a 1.5% fall in selling day-adjusted sales-to-retailers. The result was an estimated market share loss of about 45bps.

Carlsberg has cut 180 jobs worldwide as it continues to readjust to heavy losses in Eastern Europe.

The Danish brewer said the cuts, announced to staff last week, fell on its head office in Copenhagen and regional units. About 75 of the jobs were in Carlsberg's headquarters, with the rest in international markets.

Carlsberg said the cuts were partly down to challenges in Russia, where falling beer demand drove a 20% decrease in group profits in 2014. Russia is Carlsberg's largest market and, along with other Eastern European countries, accounts for about a quarter of overall sales.