Bloomberg News

Efes Says Antitrust Ruling Won't Affect Distribution

September 20, 2005

Anadolu Efes Biracilik & Malt Sanayii AS, the Middle East's largest brewer, said its ties with distributors won't be affected by an antitrust ruling that bars exclusivity clauses in agreements with sales outlets.

A decision by the Competition Council that went into effect today ordered Turkish beer distributors to end their practice of preventing storage of beer made by competitors in Efes refrigerators provided to shops and other sales outlets, the Istanbul-based company said today in a stock-exchange filing.

About half of Anadolu Efes's sales are in Turkey, where it controls some 80 percent of the beer market. The company also brews and sells beer in Russia, central Asia and central Europe.

``This decision will not have an effect in the short term because Efes controls such a large part of the domestic market,'' said Emre Temiz, an analyst at EFG Istanbul Securities. ``In the long term, this ruling by the Competition Board eases one obstacle for producers other than Efes and Tuborg.''

Efes said the impact on the market of the antitrust ruling can't yet be assessed.

``This decision does not strike down the exclusivity of Efes marketing distributors,'' the beermaker said in the filing. ``It's too early to assess the final effects of this decision on the beer market.''

Shares in Anadolu Efes rose 50 kurus, or 1.4 percent, to 37.25 liras at 4:50 p.m. in Istanbul.

The antitrust ruling also applies to Turk Tuborg Bira & Malt Sanayii AS, which controls around 20 percent of the local beer market. Turk Tuborg said in a separate stock-exchange statement it would appeal the Competition Council's decision to a higher court.

Turk Tuborg is owned by Carlsberg A/S (CARLB), the world's sixth- biggest brewer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayla Jean Yackley in Istanbul at ayackley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Collins at collinsc@bloomberg.net.


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