Anheuser-Busch InBev said Monday it will pay $5.8 billion to repurchase South Korea's Oriental Brewery, a leading beer-maker in the country.
The deal would expand AB InBev's international footprint as it looks to tap into a growing South Korean beer market. The company said in a statement that it expects the country's beer market to grow by more than 13% between 2012 and 2022.
"The management team at [Oriental Brewery] has done a tremendous job of growing the business over the last few years into the leader it is today in South Korea," said Carlos Brito, AB InBev's chief executive. "We look forward to working with the [Oriental Brewery] team to continue to build AB InBev brands in South Korea."
AB InBev is buying back the brewery nearly five years after it sold it to private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts after the merging of Anheuser Busch and InBev in July 2009.
KKR later sold part of the brewery to Affinity Equity Partners, a firm with experience in investments in the Asia-Pacific region.
Among Oriental Brewery's most popular beer labels is Cass beer. The firm also distributes and markets AB Inbev's beers, including Corona and Budweiser.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the first half of this year.
Oriental Brewery will continue to be led by its current chief executive, In-soo Chang, and will become part of AB InBev’s Asia Pacific zone, led by zone president Michel Doukeris.
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