Is AB Inbev also buying Corona Marketer Crown Imports?

AB InBev plans to buy the 50% it does not own yet of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, the brewery behind the popular Corona brand. The price tag is rumored to be between $12-$20 billion.

Of very interesting implications for Hispanic advertising is whether AB Inbev will also buy Crown Imports, a unit of publicly quoted Constellation Brands.  Crown Imports/Constellation Brands has the right to distribute and market Modelo brands  (Corona Extra, Corona Light,  Modelo especial, Negra Modelo,   Pacifico, Tsingtao, Victoria) under a contract that expires in 2017.

As a result of the likely purchase of the 50% that AB InBev does not yet own in Grupo Modelo   Anheuser Busch may elect to buy out Constellation Brand’s 's Crown Imports unit.

Seeking Alpha analyst, Chris Katje says that “an early buyout of Crown Imports is the most likely possibility if the Grupo Modelo deal goes through” although  he does not know what the amount would be or what the early termination rights are with the current contract.

Creative for Crown Imports is handled by La Comunidad, while media planning and buying is done by Horizon Media.

On its part, Anheuser – Busch In-Bev invested more than $60 million in Hispanic advertising in 2010 according to Kantar Media.

2012 Marketing plans

Earlier this year, Jim Sabia, Chief Marketing Officer for Crown Imports gave insights into his company’s 2012 marketing plans in an interview with Convenience Store News.  "We introduced Victoria to more markets in 2011 and brought in Corona Familiar. It is now in 11 states, but we plan to roll it out to all 50 states in 2012," he said, adding that Corona Familiar is the No. 1 SKU in Mexico. The convenience store channel will play a key role in that growth. "Convenience stores are very important to us because they are frequented by the beer-drinking consumer," Sabia said. Although only in 11 states, Corona Familiar is already performing well in the channel. Forty-eight percent of total case sales were in c-stores, he added.  Earlier this year, Crown Imports also kicked off a multimedia advertising campaign for Modelo Especial entitled "Descubre lo Especial" (Discover What's Special") that consisted of two 30-second television ads, four 60-second radio ads, out-of-home executions and digital efforts. The campaign hit key markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, and appeared on popular channels such as ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, Univision, Telefutura and Telemundo.


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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.

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