The week in business: 10 April


Beer giants investigated, Luminus investing in onshore windmills and an overview of the rest of the week's business news

Brewing – AB InBev

The federal competition authorities have begun an “informal investigation” into the recent beer price increases by AB InBev and its largest competitor, Alken-Maes. The authority is concerned by the timing of the increases as well as the similarity of justification: to be able to continue investing in breweries and products.

Business clubs – De Warande
The Brussels-based club founded in 1988 to promote Flanders’ business in Brussels is to open an affiliate in Antwerp this summer in the yacht club on the Scheldt’s left bank. There are plans for a new building on the site.

Energy – Luminus
The local affiliate of Electricité de France (EDF) is investing up to €600 million to develop its wind energy capacity in Belgium over the next four years. The company will build 100 additional onshore mills.

Finance – ING
ING Belgium has renamed its life assurance and asset management wings as NN Insurance and NN Investment Partners. The two divisions will also come under the management of the Nationale Nederlanden Group under an agreement reached with the EU Commission.

Food – Vandemoortele
Ghent-based frozen food group has announced a new bond issue, intended to finance the takeover of the Italian frozen food company Lanterna-Agritech. Vandemoortele’s last issue was in 2012, which raised €75 million. The Italian acquisition is thought to be only the first of many.

Retail – Talking French
The women’s fashion retailer has been declared bankrupt by the commercial tribunal in Antwerp. The company’s 20 remaining stores have closed and their 90 staff made redundant. TF attempted a capital increase in December of €1.73 million. The year 2014 was, according to retail federation Comeos, the worst ever for the retail trade in Belgium.

Technology – Technolink
The tech start-up in Bilzen, Limburg, began trading last week, a project of former Flemish minister Johan Sauwens and two partners. Sauwens was formerly mayor of Bilzen before serving as minister for public works, overseas trade, housing and sport in administrations between 1988 and 2001. Technolink manufactures a robot capable of manufacturing plastic parts.