KKR Wins Oriental Brewery Auction

SEOUL (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (INTB.BR) has picked private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) as preferred buyer of South Korea’s Oriental Brewery (OB), a company official said on Monday, confirming a report.

Online news outlet MoneyToday cited an unnamed industry source as saying that KKR had revised upwards its bid price for the beer maker to more than $1.9 billion and accepted most of InBev’s demands.

An OB official confirmed that KKR had been picked as a buyer, declining to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media.

OB could not immediately reached for comment.

The report said the U.S.-based private equity house got a high score in the financing plan with strong commitment from foreign banks, than two other bidders — Affinity Equity Partners and MBK Partners.

Three private equity houses — Affinity Equity Partners, Kohlberg Kravis and MBK Partners — have made final offers for South Korea’s OB, the official of the beer maker had said last week.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer and the owner of OB, accepted the offers this month, which it has valued at more than $2 billion, as part of an effort to sell non-core assets and to repay debt.

(Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee; Editing by Chris Lewis)