16. jan 1997 o 0:00 (REUTER)
share in Prazske Pivovary a. s., announced that it had raised its stake in Radegast to 33 percent from 20 percent through share purchases on the Prague Stock Exchange. But Bass country manager Mervyn Childs told Reuters that because there were few shares left available on the open market, Bass was now focusing its attention on Radegast`s biggest shareholder, IPB group. Bass`s long-term strategic aim in the Czech Republic is to create a brewing group with around 25 to 30 percent of the domestic beer market, Childs said. In announcing its increased stake in Radegast last week, Bass also told Reuters that it would like to see an eventual merger between Prazske Pivovary, which has about 14 percent of the local market and Radegast with 16 percent. Any merger between Radegast and Prague Breweries will remain theoretical unless Bass can come to an agreement with the other major shareholders. Bass moved into the Czech beer market in 1993 when it took a 34 percent stake in Prague Breweries. The British group now also owns majority shares in two small regional Czech breweries, Vratislavice and Ostravar. Apart from moving into the Czech market, which boasts the world`s highest per capita beer consumption, Bass has been keen to push Czech beers in western Europe and Russia. As a result, Prague Breweries, whose premium brand is Staropramen, has seen exports surge to 290,000 hectolitres in 1996 from 109,000 hectolitres in 1994.