CVC Capital is understood to have received takeover interest in its StarBev brewing arm.

CVC has been approached by several parties regarding StarBev, including the beer unit's former owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (21 February), citing people familiar with the situation.

just-drinks understands from a separate industry source that there has been interest in the Staropramen brewer from a number of potential suitors in the beer sector. But, it is not thought that this has been solicited by CVC. 

Spokespeople for both CVC and Anheuser-Busch InBev declined to comment on the matter when contacted by just-drinks today.

It is around two years since A-B InBev offloaded its Central and Eastern Europe brewing assets to private equity group CVC for an initial US$2.2bn. As part of that deal, A-B InBev negotiated a right to make the first offer should StarBev be put up for sale. 

Private equity companies often take longer than two years to sell a business on. But, acquisition opportunities in beer are declining worldwide and Eastern Europe is still considered to have growth potential, despite a difficult few years for several national economies in the region.  

In 2011, StarBev's flagship business, Pivovary Staropramen, strongly outperformed a flat Czech beer market, with own-beer volumes up by 8% on the previous year. Export volumes rose by 6%, with domestic volumes up by 9%. 

In an interview with just-drinks published late last year, StarBev's CEO, Alain Beyens, said: "There is clearly no agenda or timeline on a potential sale of the business by CVC."