CVC Sole Bidder for Bulgaria Kamenitza, AB InBev Breweries

Business | July 29, 2009, Wednesday // 10:39| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: CVC Sole Bidder for Bulgaria Kamenitza, AB InBev Breweries Anheuser-Busch InBev decided to sell its central European operations because they are considered as fragmented and non-strategic. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, which owns two units in Bulgaria, has received only one bid for its central and eastern European operations from CVC Capital Partners, a London-based private equity group, according to reports.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG, the US private equity groups, had expressed interest in the assets, which include 11 breweries in seven countries, including Bulgaria.

But only CVC submitted a bid, worth about EUR 1 B - EUR 1.5 B by this week's deadline, the Financial Times reported.

Bulgaria is one of seven countries in Eastern and Central Europe, where the world's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) is considering divesting its operations.

Eleven breweries producing a total of 15 million hectoliters of beer a year in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro, are part of what has been called a "packaged" deal to be sold as a whole.

Kamenitza AD, part of Interbrew, which was renamed to InBev after the merger of Interbrew and AmBev, is the second biggest brewery in Bulgaria.

Its diverse brand portfolio includes international Stella Artois and Becks and local Kamenitza, AstikA, Burgasko , Pleven, Slavena.

AB InBev was created by the merger of Belgium's InBev and the iconic American brewer Anheuser Busch last fall. The combined entity now has a market capitalization of EUR 44.6 B, according to the company's Web site.

A company representative for AB InBEv has declined to comment.

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