Anheuser-Busch InBev has completed the sale of a 19.9% stake in Chinese brewer Tsingtao to Japan's Asahi for US$667m.

The deal sees Anheuser-Busch InBev retain a 7% in Tsingtao, the Belgium-based brewing giant said today (30 April).

"The divestiture of this stake in Tsingtao is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev's ongoing deleveraging programme and allows the company to unlock shareholder value, generating proceeds that will be used to repay debt incurred as a result of the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch."

A-B InBev has said that it needs to raise $3.5bn via disposals in order to pay off a $7bn bridge loan taken out to fund InBev's $52bn takeover of Anheuser late last year. Analysts believe the brewer is also close to a sale of South Korea's Oriental Brewery.

Trevor Stirling, analyst with Sanford Bernstein, told just-drinks that A-B InBev has secured a better price than expected for its Tsingtao stake.

The $667m price tag represents 14.2 times Tsingtao's EBITDA, or operating profit, in 2008. A-B InBev said that this was a premium of 38% on the Chinese brewer's closing share price on 22 January, when the deal was first announced.

For Asahi, the deal sees the Japanese brewer become the second largest shareholder in Tsingtao, behind Tsingtao Brewery Group, and will help the firm to expand outside of Japan's shrinking beer market.