Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s biggest beer-maker, has agreed to pay $5.8 billion to buy back South Korea’s Oriental Brewery Co. Ltd. from KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners Ltd.
A-B InBev will fund the acquisition with internal resources, according to a statement from the companies.
A-B InBev will regain a business it sold to KKR in 2009 for $1.8 billion in a bid to cut debt following InBev NV’s $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. KKR subsequently sold 50 percent of the asset to Affinity. Oriental Brewery has become South Korea’s largest beer-maker on the growth of its Cass brand, the statement said.
The deal values Oriental Brewery at about 11.6 times earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, compared with the average 10.1 times for 24 global brewery acquisitions over the last five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
Announced acquisitions in the brewery industry were worth about $22 billion in 2011 and $32 billion in 2012 before declining to $5.5 billion last year, according to the data.
A-B InBev’s purchase would be the second takeover of an alcoholic beverage company this year after Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy bourbon-maker Beam Inc. for $16 billion Jan. 13.
A-B InBev’s right to buy back Oriental Brewery at pre-agreed terms this year was part of the 2009 agreement with KKR. The deal has an enterprise value of $5.8 billion and is expected to close in the first half of the year. It’s subject to regulatory approval in South Korea.
A-B InBev, created in the brewery world’s biggest merger, sells brands including Bud Light and Stella Artois. It has grown to be the largest beer-maker through a series of acquisitions, including taking control of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo for $20.1 billion.