Asahi in $7.8bn deal for AB InBev Eastern Europe arm
Biggest acquisition of overseas operations by a Japanese brewer
TOKYO -- Asahi Group Holdings on Tuesday reached a broad agreement to acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev's operations in five Eastern European countries for about 900 billion yen ($7.81 billion).
This stands to be the biggest acquisition of overseas brewing operations by a Japanese company. Asahi is expected to announce the deal later in the afternoon.
Asahi is set to acquire assets in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania hitherto run by SABMiller, which was acquired by AB InBev -- the world's largest brewer. Pilsner Urquell, a well-known Czech brand, is also part of the arrangement.
Western funds and Chinese brewers placed bids, too, but it appears Asahi offered more.
The Japanese company sees Europe as a jumping-off point to make further inroads in the global market. In October, it completed an acquisition of other European SABMiller operations for 300 billion yen.