AB InBev sells Australian division for 10 billion euro

The brewer AB InBev that has its headquarters in the Flemish Brabant city of Leuven is selling its Australian division Carlton & United Breweries to the Japanese group Asahi. Asahi is to pay 16 billion Australian dollars (around 10 billion euro) and will also have the rights to sell other AB InBev brands on the Australian market. The sale has met with enthusiasm from AB InBev’s shareholders.

 

The value of shares in the company has risen by 5% since the sale was announced.

The sale should have been completed by the end of the year. AB InBev will use almost all of the proceeds from the sale of Carlton & United Breweries to further reduce its debts.

Currently AB InBev has debts totalling 98 billion US dollars (around 87 billion euro). The lion’s share of this came about as a result of its takeover of SAB Miller three years ago. The company has already taken a number of measures to address its debt issue, including halving the amount it pays shareholders in dividends.  

Floatation called off

Last week AB Inbev tried to float part of its Asian Division separately on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in an effort to get hold of fresh cash. However, the floatation was aborted at the last minute as the price of the shares was too low.

Nevertheless, the brewer says that it still believes in a floatation. The sale of the Australian division is particularly good news for AB InBev’s shareholders as the price paid is higher than expected.