Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) , the world’s largest brewer, has reached an agreement to sell its Australian subsidiary, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) , to the Japanese Asahi Group Holdings for 16,000 million Australian dollars.
AB InBev stressed that most of the proceeds of this divestment will be used by the company to reduce its debt, which exceeded 100,000 million dollars (88,635 million euros) after the acquisition of the British SABMiller, although the brewer noted that its The commitment to place net debt below four times its Ebitda target in 2020 does not depend on the closing of the transaction.
The transaction represents an implicit multiple of 14.9 times the normalized EBITDA of 2018 and as part of the transaction, AB InBev will grant Asahi Group Holdings the rights to market its global and international portfolio of brands in Australia.
The sale of CUB, once completed, will help AB InBev accelerate its expansion into other fast-growing markets in the Asia Pacific region and globally, also allowing the owner of Budweiser, Corona or Stella Artois to create additional shareholder value optimizing your business at an attractive price and deleveraging your balance, the company said.
“We continue to see great potential for our business in Asia Pacific and the region remains a driver of growth for our company,” said Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, who underlined the company’s “unique” approach to take advantage of growth opportunities in the region.
AB InBev decided last week not to go ahead with the planned placement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of a minority stake of its Asian subsidiary, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, which was set to become the largest such operation of this type in 2019.
The company explained its decision to cancel the transaction, scheduled for Friday, for a number of factors, including the prevailing market conditions.
However, AB InBev has signaled in communicating the sale of its Australian subsidiary that continues to believe in the strategic logic of a potential placement in the market of a minority share of Budweiser APAC , excluding Australia, provided it can be carried out with an appropriate valuation.