WSJ: PE Firms Eye InBev’s European Assets

(Reuters) – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), CVC Capital Partners and TPG are interested in buying part of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s (ABI.BR) operations in Central and Eastern Europe in a deal that could be worth more than $2.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Anheuser was approached by private-equity firms and beer makers, one person familiar with the situation told the paper. It is not clear whether any of the beer companies are still involved, the paper said

The world’s largest brewer is looking for offers in the range of eight- to 10-times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the person told the paper.

A spokeswoman for Anheuser declined to comment to the paper. Anheuser, KKR, TPG and CVC Capital Partners could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported on Saturday that Anheuser was considering divesting its central European operations involving 11 breweries in seven countries.

AB InBev sold its South Korean subsidiary Oriental Brewery to KKR last month for $1.8 billion, as part of a move to repay debt incurred in the $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast)