Anheuser-Busch InBev has sold its Australian operations to Japan’s Asahi for a total of AU$16 billion. Although a substantial deal, the sale of Carlton & United Breweries will represent only a tiny portion of AB InBev’s $106 billion debt. This transaction also represents Asahi’s biggest overseas acquisition.
This deal comes just weeks after AB InBev shelved an initial public offering to sell a 15 percent stake in its Asian operations, noting factors including unfavourable market conditions. Asahi had previously expressed interest in obtaining the Australian unit earlier this year, but deals have only been finalised now following the collapsed IPO.
The deal is expected to be close by the first quarter of next year.