Anheuser-Busch InBev to sell minority stake in Tsingtao to Asahi
23 January, 2009
Anheuser-Busch InBev is to sell 19.9% of Tsingtao Brewery Co to Asahi Breweries Ltd for USD 667 million.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is to sell 19.9% of Tsingtao Brewery Co to Asahi Breweries Ltd for USD 667 million. This will make Asahi Tsingtao’s second largest shareholder.The divestiture of this stake in Tsingtao allows A-B InBev to unlock shareholder value, generating proceeds that will be used to repay debt incurred as a result of InBev’s acquisition of Anheuser- Busch. Under the agreement, Anheuser-Busch InBev will sell 261,577,836 H-shares of Tsingtao to Asahi at a price of HKD 19.78 per share as of January 22, 2009 implying an EBITDA 08 estimate multiple of 14.2x. This price represents a premium of 38% against the closing price of H-shares as of January 22, 2009. Tsingtao Brewery Group will remain the largest shareholder in Tsingtao, holding a 31% stake as of January 23, 2009. Anheuser-Busch InBev will retain a minority share in Tsingtao of approximately 7%. Anheuser-Busch InBev has no current plans to sell any additional shares and will review its strategic options as appropriate. Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said: "Anheuser-Busch InBev remains strongly committed to China, the largest beer market in the world. Our operations in Northeast and Southeast China are a key platform for our global growth strategy going forward. With strong local brands such as Harbin and Sedrin and global brands such as Budweiser, we are well positioned to benefit from the significant potential in this important market. We are pleased that this transaction unlocks the value of our minority investment.” The deal is subject only to customary approvals under Chinese and Hong Kong law and the parties expect the transaction to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2009.