Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to sell Carlton & United Breweries, its Australian business, to Japanese brewer Asahi for an enterprise value of A$16 billion ($11.3 billion), the Belgian company said in a statement on July 19.
CUB confirmed the takeover in a statement and said the opportunity allows Asahi to "commercialise the portfolio of AB InBev's global and worldwide brands in Australia". The two companies completed a $7.8 billion deal in March 2017 for assets formerly owned by SABMiller - including Pilsner Urquell, Tyskie and Lech - in Central and Eastern European.
The deal furthers Asahi's overseas expansion as the domestic beer market languishes.
AB InBev said the funds raised from the mega-money sale will be used to "pay down debt", but stressed the business is not relying on this sale to stay afloat.
AB InBev employs around 175,00 people and generated US$54.6 billion in revenue in 2018.
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AB InBev said Friday that the IPO of Budweiser Brewing Co. 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 so-called megabrew deal also saddled AB InBev with mammoth borrowings, which prompted the company to slash its dividend a year ago and to plan the aborted IPO. The Budweiser maker still has a major presence in Asia, particularly in China, though it's facing challenges there amid shifting trends.
Carlton & United Breweries' portfolio include Foster's, Victoria Bitter and Carlton, alongside craft brands 4 Pines and Pirate Life. While Foster's is well known internationally as an Australian brew, it's much less commonly consumed domestically than overseas. It joined AB InBev in 2016 as part of AB InBev's takeover of SABMiller. Heineken makes it in Europe under license.
The deal will give Asahi, known for is Super Dry lager, a major boost in Australia.
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. But its presence there has been overshadowed by Carlton & United and Kirin Holdings Co.'s Lion, which combined account for 90 percent of the market, according to market research firm IBISWorld.