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EUR: A-B InBev closer to CEE breweries sale - report

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Private equity group CVC Capital Partners has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev's brewing assets in Central and Eastern Europe, according to reports.

CVC Capital has put together a provisional bid of US$2.1bn to acquire the assets, which are believed to include up to 11 breweries in seven countries, according to a report in Belgian newspaper De Tijd yesterday (28 July) and cited by Reuters.

Previous reports said that A-B InBev had set a deadline of 27 July for bids.

The Belgium-based brewer declined to comment on the matter when contacted by just-drinks today.

Several analysts have told just-drinks that they believe A-B InBev is likely to dispose of assets in Eastern Europe, meeting the group's strategic migration westwards and its desire to pay off debt.

The group said recently that it remains committed to disposals in order to help pay down a $7bn bridge loan taken out by InBev to fund its $52bn acquisition of A-B last year.

One analyst told just-drinks that an assets sale in Eastern Europe, which is thought to include Czech brewer Staropramen, is likely to fetch around $2bn.

It is thought a sale would not include Sun InBev, the group's subsidiary in Russia and Ukraine, although some analysts have not ruled out a sale of this business further down the line.

Last week, A-B InBev announced that it has completed a sale of Oriental Brewery in South Korea to private equity group KKR for $1.8bn. KKR has already agreed to sell a stake in Oriental to Affinity Equity Partners, one source familiar with the deal told just-drinks.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev

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