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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Czech Government to Investigate Budvar and Anheuser-Busch Deal

The Czech Republic says it plans to investigate how Budejovicky Budvar is being managed and look into a number of recent contracts, including the U.S. distribution deal signed with Anheuser-Busch Companies.

Budvar is the last major Czech brewer to still be under government control. The government has discussed selling the brewery to close a budget deficit. Trade Minister Martin Riman says he believe the deal with its American rival lowers the value of the company. Riman had said Budvar could fetch between $932 million and $1.4 billion on the open market.

Budvar and A-B have been fighting in courts for decades over the Budweiser trademark. Earlier this year the two companies announced a surprising deal that has A-B distributing Budvar's brands in the U.S., including Czechvar, the name the brand is sold by in this country.

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