CZECH: Anheuser-Busch InBev quiet on StarBev offer
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."
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