Take stock – August 24

Canadians are spending significantly less on vehicle maintenance this year as they put their faith in more reliable vehicles to help them save money in an uncertain economy.

Canadians spending less on vehicle maintenance

TORONTO — Canadians are spending significantly less on vehicle maintenance this year as they put their faith in more reliable vehicles to help them save money in an uncertain economy.

A study by consumer survey firm J.D. Power and Associates says Canadians’ annualized spending on repairs and maintenance has decreased to $9.8 billion this year from $11.2 billion in 2009. This is a decline of nearly 13 per cent. J.D. Power says the drop is largely due to less routine maintenance spending by owners of four- to seven-year-old vehicles. The firm says consumers are forking out less cash as cars become more reliable and the average age of Canadian vehicles drops.


Molson Coors stands to profit from Foster’s bidding war

MONTREAL — Molson Coors Brewing Co. could stand to profit from its investment in the Foster’s Group, which saw its shares rise sharply Monday in Australia.

The Canadian-American beer maker has an indirect interest in Foster’s (ASX:FGL) through a type of derivative arranged through Deutsche Bank. The derivative’s value rises with an increase in the value of Foster’s stock.

Foster’s, a major Australian brewer, is rumoured to be a potential takeover target. London-based brewer SABMiller was said to be a possible bidder. The Australian company’s shares closed at A$6.26 before North American trading began Monday, up from A$5.82 on Friday. Molson Coors reported previously that its second-quarter included a US$21.9-million gain on the market value of its Foster’s securities.

After merging its Canadian beer business Carling O’Keefe with the former Molson Cos. Ltd. in 1989, Foster’s held a 50 per cent stake in Molson Breweries.

It later disposed of its beer businesses outside Australia, with Heineken acquiring the brand in Europe and SABMiller acquiring its operations in the U.S. and India.