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Food & Beverage

AB InBev to sell South Korean brewer for $1.8 billion

May 11, 2009
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According to Reuters, Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to sell its South Korean Oriental Brewery to private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co for $1.8 billion, allowing the world''s largest brewer to repay debt. If completed, the buyout would be the biggest private equity purchase in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan since late 2006, when KKR bought Australia''s Seven Network for $2.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. In a joint statement, the Belgium-based Company, and New York-based KKR, said AB-InBev would grant KKR exclusive licenses to distribute certain brands in South Korea, including Budweiser and Hoegaarden. The deal finally gives a Western private equity firm the chance to put a big chunk of cash to use in Asia after a long deal drought led some buyout shops to downsize or relocate. AB InBev said it expects the impact on recurring results to be immaterial and expects a non-recurring capital gain of around $500 million. The deal allows AB InBev to trim its debt, and gives KKR a company with 40 percent share in a $2.8 billion beer market duopoly.
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