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Asahi to buy SABMiller's Central & Eastern European assets from Anheuser-Busch InBev

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Anheuser-Busch InBev is ending 2016 with the final major divestment of SABMiller assets, as Asahi has agreed to acquire SAB's former operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Asahi set up a European arm in October

Asahi set up a European arm in October

AB InBev confirmed this morning that Asahi will spend EUR7.3bn (US$7.7bn) on SAB's footprint in Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The operations were the last major tranche of divestments that ABI had lined up prior to completing its takeover of SAB in October.

Included in the purchase are the Pilsner Urquell, Zubr, Tyskie and Lech brands as well as the largest brewer in Romania and the second-largest in Slovakia.

For full details of what  Asahi is buying in Central and Eastern Europe, click here

"Asahi envisages strengthening its cash generating power by positioning its domestic profit base as the cornerstone of its earnings, with the overseas business as its growth engine," Asahi said today. "The 'Target Business' is highly compatible with our existing business in Western Europe and will strengthen our business platform, allowing Asahi to grow sustainably across Europe.

"Asahi's strategy is to enhance its cash generating power through its international business by maximising synergies with its existing business in Europe ... along with merging the brand power and cost competitiveness it has cultivated in Japan."

Upon closure of the SAB buy, Asahi paid EUR2.55bn (then-US$2.87bn) to add SAB's Grolsch, Meantime and Peroni Nastro Azzuro brands to its stable. The Japanese firm subsequently set up Asahi Europe in mid-October to oversee its operations.

Completion of today's agreed purchase is expected in the first half of next year.

To read ABI's official statement, click here. Asahi's statement can be found here.


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