AB InBev buy Czech brewery in Bud battle4th July, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A Czech brewery in the town where Budweiser started life has been bought by ABInBev in an attempt to strengthen its claim to the brand amid a battle with a Czech competitor.
Pivovar Samson AS, based in Ceske Budejovice, known in German as Budweis, the place of origin of Budweiser lager, has been bought by AB InBEV, the world’s biggest brewer confirmed this week.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the brewer is currently locked in a battle, which has run for some 100 years, over the Budweiser name with Czech state-owned and export-focused brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP.
AB InBev uses the Budweiser brand in the US, as well as markets in Asia and South America, while Budvar exports to most European markets including Germany, the U.K., Italy, Russia and Turkey.
Its acquisition of of Samson, AB InBev believes, will give it more leverage in future trademark battles.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal Karen Couck, of AB InBev, said: “The acquisition further strengthens AB InBev’s legal position, particularly as it relates to the Budweiser brand.”
“We’re currently evaluating the expansion of the use of Samson’s Budweiser brand.”
Budvar meanwhile has not risen to claims that the purchase will impact their legal position, and has instead played down its significance.
Petr Samec, a spokesperson for Budvar said: “The ownership change [of Samson] has no relevance on [Budweiser] trademarks and ongoing court cases between Budejovicky Budvar and AB InBev.”
Budvar, lays claim to the name due to it being brewed in Ceske Budejovice – also known as Budweis.
However AB InBev has argued it has used the brand name for longer since 1876, with Budvar only founded in 1895.