AB InBev explores asset sale after dropping Asia IPO plan

20 Juillet, 2019, 03:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Mount Fuji stands beyond buildings as a visitor looks out at the skyline from an observation deck in Tokyo Japan

The bulk of the proceeds from the Australia deal will be used to reduce debt, AB InBev said, with the deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. At the same time, they aren't high-growth markets, so selling them wouldn't hurt AB InBev's growth prospects, the person said.

The world's largest brewer hopes to raise at least $10 billion (£8.02 billion) from asset sales, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter. APAC. Potential investors will seek a more appealing valuation, after the former price range valued the unit at 28.5 times to 33.5 times consensus 2020 earnings, above the ratios for both Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S. The company plans to finance the deal with a share sale worth as much as 200 billion yen (US$1.9 billion), subordinated bonds and a 1.2 trillion-yen bridge loan.

However, a question mark would remain over AB InBev's more mature South Korean business, given that it had bought it back from private equity group KKR in 2014. The Belgium-based brewer said it had agreed to divest Australian subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries for $11.3 billion in enterprise value.

Asahi has rapidly expanded overseas in recent years, trying to build its flagship Super Dry beer into a global premium beer alongside the likes of Heineken NV as its domestic beer market languishes. Carlton & United Breweries' portfolio of brands, including Carlton and Great Northern, is "highly profitable, with EBITDA margin of over 40 percent", the company added. The Budweiser maker still has a major presence in Asia, particularly in China, though it's facing challenges there amid shifting trends.

While Foster's is well known internationally as an Australian brew, it's much less commonly consumed in Australia than overseas.

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In January it acquired the beer business of the United Kingdom.'s Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc, following the 2016 acquisition of Pilsner Urquell and other brands from AB InBev.

For its part, Asahi said the acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries creates a "third core [business] pillar" to go along with its business units in Japan and Europe.

The deal will give Asahi a major boost in Australia.

AB InBev acquired Carlton & United through the $106 billion purchase of SABMiller.

Carlton & United is one of the two big players in Australia's beer industry: alongside Kirin-owned Lion.

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