Bulgaria Kamenitza, AB InBev Breweries Sale CompletedBusiness | December 2, 2009, Wednesday // 19:55| views
Anheuser-Busch InBev decided to sell its central European operations because they are considered as fragmented and non-strategic. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BT) announced on Wednesday it has completed the sale of its operations in Central Europe and the Balkans to private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
The deal is valued at USD 2.23 B in cash, bonds and minority shares.
Included in the sale are A-B InBev’s operations, to be renamed StarBev, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.
As part of the agreement, StarBev will continue to brew Stella Artois, Beck’s, Löwenbräu and Spaten and distribute Hoegaarden and Leffe in the those countries under license from A-B InBev.
A-B InBev will also continue to brew Staropramen in Russia and Ukraine and distribute it in several other countries including the U.S., Germany and the U.K.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG, the US private equity groups, had expressed interest in the assets, but only CVC submitted a bid.
Bulgaria is one of seven countries in Eastern and Central Europe, where the world's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) is divesting its operations.
Eleven breweries producing a total of 15 million hectoliters of beer a year in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro, are part of what has been called a "packaged" deal.
Kamenitza AD, part of Interbrew, which was renamed to InBev after the merger of Interbrew and AmBev, is the second biggest brewery in Bulgaria.
Its diverse brand portfolio includes international Stella Artois and Becks and local Kamenitza, AstikA, Burgasko , Pleven, Slavena.
AB InBev was created by the merger of Belgium's InBev and the iconic American brewer Anheuser Busch last fall. The combined entity now has a market capitalization of EUR 44.6 B, according to the company's Web site.
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