Exclusive: AB InBev attracts at least six bids for Pilsner Urquell, other brands -sources

Tue Nov 8, 2016 11:20am EST
 
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By Pamela Barbaglia, Agnieszka Barteczko and Martinne Geller

LONDON/WARSAW (Reuters) - At least six indicative offers have been submitted by industry players and buyout funds for a group of beer brands being sold by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote), sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

First-round bids for the brands, which include Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic and Tyskie and Lech in Poland, were due on Monday, according to the sources, who declined to be identified as the process is private.

Worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion), the brands were put up for sale as part of AB InBev's $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller, which closed last month.

Japanese brewer Asahi Holdings (2502.T: Quote) and Czech investment firm PPF Group have submitted rival bids, while Hungarian energy group Mol (MOLB.BU: Quote) has teamed up with Polish juice maker Maspex Wadowice Group and Polish insurer PZU group PZU.WA to table a joint offer, the sources said.

Private equity investors Bain Capital and Europe's Advent, have joined forces, while KKR (KKR.N: Quote) has made a joint offer with Mid Europa Partners, the sources said.

Another consortium includes Swiss investment firm Jacobs Holding and Canadian pension fund PSP Investments with additional backing from Czech family office R2G, the sources said.

Polish billionaire Sebastian Kulczyk told Reuters earlier this month that he may use some of the proceeds from the sale of his stake in SABMiller to buy the Central and Eastern European beer brands. The sources mentioned recent talks between Kulczyk and the KKR-led consortium but said the parties have so far failed to reach an agreement.

China Resources, which took full ownership of the Chinese joint venture it had with SABMiller, was also interested in the assets, according to the sources, but it was not immediately clear whether it has tabled a competitive bid.   Continued...

 
A logo of Plzensky Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) brewery is seen behind empty bottles at the entrance of the beer-producing company in Plzen, Czech Republic, November 12, 2015.  REUTERS/David W Cerny