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DB Breweries Ltd : An old-world industry reinvents itself

Hunt, Graeme(2005-01-01)


This case investigates the development of New Zealand’s second-largest brewing company, DB Breweries Ltd. Established in 1929 by (William) Joseph Coutts as Waitemata Brewery Ltd, it faced opposition from prohibitionists and market-dominant New Zealand Breweries Ltd, but it was able to gain a toehold in the Auckland market. With the backing of entrepreneur (Sir) Henry Kelliher, Waitemata Brewery was restructured and floated as a public company, Dominion Breweries Ltd, in early 1930. It expanded into hotel ownership as part of a long-term plan to become a national company, and by the 1950s had become a significant owner of licensed premises. From the 1980s, the company went through considerable structural change, most recently in 2004 when it became 100 per cent owned by Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd of Singapore, itself 80 per cent owned by Heineken NV of Holland and Fraser & Neave Ltd of Singapore. Under the new ownership, it continues to operate as a New Zealand-focused brewer, maintaining the innovative tradition established in 1929.

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Case Description
Business Case Study NoUA-2005-007
Number of Pages20
CategoryHistorical narrative; Teaching case
CompanyDB Breweries Limited; Fraser and Neave Limited; Heineken NV
Setting - CountryNew Zealand
Setting - CityAuckland
IndustryFood and beverage

SourceAuckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 1 - 21