S KOREA: A-B InBev gathers Oriental Brewery bids - report
First-round bidders are thought to include a range of private equity groups, while a senior official at Lotte Group also indicated that the firm has submitted a bid, according to a Reuters report from the region this week.
Analysts believe A-B InBev may raise between US$2bn and $2.5bn by selling Oriental Brewery, taking the brewer close the $3.5bn it needs to raise by November to cover a bridge loan repayment, used to part-finance InBev's $52bn takeover of A-B last autumn.
Officially, A-B InBev has declined to comment on whether Oriental, which is South Korea's second largest brewer, is up for sale.
The brewer has, however, confirmed that it is seeking to dispose of certain assets and several analysts have named Oriental as one of those most likely for the chop, alongside A-B theme parks in the US.
Last month, A-B InBev sold a 20% stake in Chinese brewer Tsingtao to Asahi for $667m. An Asahi spokesperson this month denied to just-drinks that the Japanese brewer had teamed up with Lotte Group to launch a joint bid for Oriental.
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