Close Menu

AB InBev targets European sell-off

Anheuser-Busch InBev has refused to deny reports that it is seeking buyers for its central and eastern European beer interests.

A number of private-equity firms are said to be circling as the world’s largest brewer seeks to streamline its operations following InBev’s takeover of Anheuser-Busch last year.

AB InBev currently owns 11 breweries spread over Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

It is understood the brewer is looking to attract offers in the region of 8-10 times pre-tax earnings for each subsidiary. Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners, TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, which bought AB InBev’s South Korean subsidiary Oriental Brewery last month for $1.8billion, are believed to be interested in striking deals.

The brewer has been moved to consider the sales due to the Czech and Romanian units performing below expectations and the failure of the Croatian and Montenegrin subsidiaries to enhance their market share since last year’s takeover.

Among the assets up for grabs are Czech brewer Staropramen and Hungarian brewery Borsodi.

While AB InBev has refused to comment on the speculation, well-placed sources have said the deal could top $3.4billion.

Alan Lodge, 17.06.2009 

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No