AB InBev To Sell SABMiller’s Eastern European Brands For $8B

Image courtesy of Paul Kanterman

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s pending $107 billion merger with SABMiller will now include fewer brands: the beer behemoth announced today that it will sell several of its betrothed’s eastern European assets in order to appease federal regulators and speed up approval for the mega-merger. 

Reuters reports that AB InBev said that it had put up for sale SABMiller’s business in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia for $8 billion.

The sale would likely include a number of top brands in eastern European markets, such as Pilsner Urquell in Czech Republic and Dreher in Hungary.

AB InBev said it expected considerable interest from potential buyers, with analysts suggesting the top candidate could be Carlsberg.

The potential sale of the eastern European brands would mean that AB InBev would continue to have a minuscule presence in the market, Reuters reports.

“The eastern European markets may have provided an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction, and valuation notwithstanding, we regard this asset sale as a net positive” for AB InBev, Morningstar analyst Philip Gorham tells Reuters, noting that the decision to sell off the brands was likely made to prevent regulatory delays and get out of areas where the company would be less profitable.

Any sale of the brands is conditional on the completion of AB InBev’s purchase of SABMiller.

European regulators say that they will either approve AB InBev and SABMiller’s merger or open a longer investigation by May 24.

News that AB InBev is willing to sell off the premium brands is the company’s latest move to pave the way for regulatory approval. Of course, it’s perhaps less painful for AB InBev since the current list of sold-off brands only involves beers currently owned by SABMiller, including Miller/Coors, CR Snow, Peroni, Grolsch, and Meantime.

Here’s a look at the brands that are currently being sold off to pave the way for the merger:

Brand Owner Buyer Price
Miller/Coors SABMiller Molson Coors $12 Billion
CR Snow (Chinese brand) SABMiller China Resources $1.6 Billion
Peroni, Grolsch, & Other European Brands SABMiller Asahi Group $2.9 Billion
Eastern European Brands (Pilsner Urquell, Dreher, and others) SABMiler To Be Determined ~$8 billion

AB InBev to sell more SAB assets as seeks EU deal approval [Reuters]

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