Anheuser-Busch InBev said Wednesday it completed the sale of its breweries in nine eastern European countries to CVC Capital Partners in a deal worth as much as $3.03 billion.
Included in the sale are A-B InBev’s operations, to be renamed StarBev, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.
As part of the agreement, StarBev will continue to brew Stella Artois, Beck’s, Löwenbräu and Spaten and distribute Hoegaarden and Leffe in the those countries under license from A-B InBev. London-based SABMiller plc, a co-owner of the MillerCoors joint venture that competes with Anheuser-Busch in the U.S., will compete with the new StarBev in eastern Europe. One of SABMiller’s top brands is Czech brew Pilsner Urquell.
A-B InBev will also continue to brew Staropramen in Russia and Ukraine and distribute it in several other countries including the U.S., Germany and the U.K.
CVC, a London-based leveraged buyout firm, will pay A-B InBev $1.68 billion in cash to start, plus an additional $613 million in deferred payments and minority interests, and the possibility of $800 million later, depending on the unit’s future earnings.
On Tuesday, A-B InBev completed the sale of its 10 amusement parks to The Blackstone Group in a deal worth up to $2.7 billion.
Belgium-based A-B InBev sold the European breweries and the theme parks to help pay down the $45 billion debt it took on when it bought St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion last year. Since the acquisition, A-B InBev has sold off $9.4 billion in parks, breweries and plants, exceeding its goal of $7 billion.