S Korea: Lotte Group eyes Oriental Brewery swoop - report

By | 16 January 2009

Lotte Group has been touted as a possible buyer of South Korea's oriental Brewery, currently owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

An auction for Oriental Brewery is due to begin and Lotte, also based in South Korea, is set to bid, according to a Reuters report  this week.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has confirmed to just-drinks that it is looking to dispose of several assets to help finance InBev's US$52bn acquisition of its rival. The newly formed brewing giant has declined to name those assets, however.

Oriental is the second largest beer manufacturer in South Korea, accounting for around 40% market share. The market leader in the country is Hite Brewery.

Should Lotte launch a bid, the move would mark the firm's second foray into alcoholic drinks within the last month. It recently agreed to buy Doosan Corp's spirits division for KRW503bn (US$383.5m), according to a Korean Stock Exchange filing.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: InBev, Anheuser-Busch

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