The CSE mergers and acquisition market has seen a spate of translations in early 2017, indicating investors have faith in the region’s fundamentals.
The European Commission (EC) cleared Japan’s Asahi acquisition of the business of Belgian-based multinational beverage and brewing company AB InBev in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
In mid-December, Asahi paid EUR7.3bn to AB InBev for the Central and Eastern European assets of SABMiller, including assets in Romania. AB InBev takes over SABMiller in October for about EUR100bn.
Under the deal, Asahi Group will buy SABMiller’s beer assets in Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. This is Asahi’s biggest-ever overseas deal and is part of the group’s strategy to expand its presence in Europe. SABMiller operates three factories in Romania and its portfolio includes the following brands: Ursus, Timisoreana, Ciucas, Stejar, Azuga, Redd’s, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch, Miller and Pilsner Urquell. Asahi Group Holdings is a global beer, spirits, soft drinks and food company founded in 1949 in Tokyo, Japan.
AB InBev, which has 150,000 employees based in 26 countries worldwide, posted revenues of EUR38.3bn in 2015. It owned several beer factories in Romania until 2009, which it sold to private equity fund CVC Capital Partners. The fund created a new entity called StarBev, which was acquired in 2013 by Molson Coors Central Europe, one of the biggest brewers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Currently, Molson Coors has a factory in Ploiesti county, in southern Romania where it makes several local brands such as Bergenbier and Noroc, and three beer brands under InBEv’s license: Stella Artois, Beck’s and LowenBrau.