Companhia de Bebidas das Americas - AMBEV (NYSE: ABV, ABVc; BOVESPA: AMBV4, AMBV3), the world's fourth largest brewer and fifth largest beverage company, with operations in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay, today announced that it signed a letter of intent to purchase a 95.3% stake of Uruguay's Cerveceria y Malteria Paysandu SA (Cympay) on November 24, 2000. Shares are being purchased from the German group Oetker (Eufra Holding AG) for an estimated US$45 million, including US$23 million in net debt. The purchase price will be based upon December 31, 2000 financial statements and confirmed upon completion of due diligence.

Cympay had net revenues of US$35 million in 2000 (fiscal year ending June 30), with 266 employees, and operates in three business segments:

Beer: Cympay has 24% of the beer market in Uruguay. It sells the Nortena and Prinz brands, accounting for 26% of net sales. The beer business has annual production capacity of 300,000 hl, and utilization was 62% in 2000;

Malt: Production totaled 81,000 tons in 2000, which represents 69% of net sales; and

Mineral Water: Cympay owns 78.42% of Fuente Matutina S/A, with an 8% market share in Uruguay. Sales volume of mineral water was 115,000 hl in 2000, representing 5% of net sales.

Cympay is expected to close fiscal 2001 with EBITDA of US$6 million. The deal value of US$45 million, therefore, represents an EV/EBITDA multiple of 7.5x. Through this acquisition, AmBev's Uruguayan beer market share will grow to 48%. AmBev's malt business, which represents 3% of net sales on a consolidated basis (excluding this acquisition), will be further strengthened by Cympay's malt production.