Japan’s Asahi to complete acquisition of AB InBev’s Australian business in June

Asahi Group Holdings plans to borrow US$11 billion in order to complete its purchase of AB InBev’s Australian business, after a A$16 billion deal was agreed with the world’s largest brewer in July last year.

In a statement on Monday, Japanese brewer Asahi said it had signed an agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation for the loan and would refinance the borrowing by raising debt and 300 billion yen of ‘equity credit attributes’.

Meanwhile, funds from the deal for the Australian unit – Carlton & United Breweries – are expected to be used to pay down AB InBev’s debt, which topped US$95 billion at the end of 2019 after its acquisition of rival SABMiller two years earlier.

The agreement for Carlton & United Breweries gives Asahi a much larger presence Down Under, where it already sells its Asahi Super Dry lager, and builds on previous acquisitions of AB InBev’s former beer brands Grolsch and Peroni.

The transaction is now expected to close on June 1 after Asahi originally planned to complete the acquisition in the first quarter, but announced in March that the deal would be delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.