InBev has announced that it has sold certain retail estate assets in the Netherlands and Belgium to Belgian property group Cofinimmo.

The brewer said yesterday (31 October) that it has closed the deal with Cofinimmo which would see InBev Belgium sell 90% of Immobrew S.A./N.V., a subsidiary which directly owns 824 pubs and some residential real estate locations in Belgium and indirectly 245 in the Netherlands, for EUR419m (US$571m) on a debt and cash free basis. At the same time, InBev has entered into a lease agreement with Immobrew and some of its affiliates.

InBev said the move was consistent with its commitment to free up capital invested in non-core activities, thereby enhancing the focus on its core beer business.

The company said that InBev Belgium shall retain a 10% interest in Immobrew, to be renamed Pubstone SA/NV. Immobrew holds a master lease agreement of 27 years with InBev Belgium for an initial rent of EUR17.4m (US$25m) per annum.

Substantially similar master lease agreements are in place with affiliates of Immobrew with respect to the Netherlands pubs for an initial rent of EUR9.2m per annum. The sale results in an estimated one-time gain of EUR334m as compared to the book value.

"InBev will continue to be the dedicated partner and supplier for the respective pub properties in Belgium and the Netherlands. The commercial relationship between the pub tenants and InBev will not change. Cofinimmo has committed to further investments in the properties, and it is the aim of both parties to assure the continued success of the property portfolio," the company said in a statement.