Blog: Olly WehringAnheuser-Busch InBev - No alarms and no surprises

Olly Wehring | 19 October 2009

The biggest story on just-drinks last week was Anheuser-Busch InBev's widely-expected divestment of many of its brewing assets in Eastern Europe. The sale, to private equity group CVC Capital Partners for US$2.2bn, saw the brewing giant sail past its target this year of $7bn-worth of disposals.

Whilst A-B InBev has proved more than adept at getting reasonably good prices for some of its divestments, especially in the current environment, the list of sales suggests that what we are now observing is - and I don't think A-B InBev will hate me for saying this - a rather 'dull' company.

Battlegrounds for A-B InBev now appear to be primarily Latin America - where AmBev has quite a stranglehold in the region's largest beer market, Brazil - North America - where the biggest beer brand is A-B's Budweiser - and Western Europe - where InBev is well-entrenched with the likes of Stella Artois and Beck's.

AmBev, Anheuser-Busch and InBev were always very similar companies in the way they operated. Now that the sales have been completed, I believe we can expect few alarms and even fewer surprises from the company going forward.


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