Czech government says brewery not on the blocks

The Czech government is not going to privatize the Budejovicky Budvar brewery, at least not in the near future, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said recently in the Chamber of Deputies.

"This is no privatization," he said, adding a transformation of the brewery into a joint-stock company would take about 12-18 months.

Budvar, the third largest Czech brewery, raised output by 5 percent to 1.151 million hectolitres in 2006. It sells beer to 50 countries of the world.

Topolanek said a tender for the adviser for Budvar transformation would take place in October.

He also dismissed speculations that his adviser Marek Dalik is in talks with US brewing giant Anheuser-Busch on the privatisation. Budvar and Anheuser-Busch lead a number of trademark lawsuits.