Anheuser-Busch to buy back Korean brewery, wants Asian beer market
Anheuser-Busch InBev announced Monday that it would spend billions of dollars to buy back a Korean brewery in an effort to boost its presence in the Asian Pacific.
The Belgium-based brewery behind Budweiser, Stella Artois and more will buy South Korean Oriental Brewery from K.K.R. and Affinity Equity Partners for $5.8 billion.
Anheuser-Busch InBev had originally sold Oriental Brewery to K.K.R. in July 2009 for $1.8 billion. The original sale included an exclusive license for Oriental Brewery to distribute certain Anheuser-Busch InBev brands such as Budweiser, Corona and Hoegaarden in South Korea.
“OB [Oriental Brewery] will strengthen our position in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region and will become a significant contributor to our Asia Pacific Zone,” Carlos Brito, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said in a press release. “In addition, we expect to be strong contributors to the Korean economy and community...”
The Anheuser-Busch InBev deal comes just one week after Japanese beverage firm Suntory Holdings announced that it would buy Beam, the company behind American bourbon Jim Beam, for $13.6 billion.
In the last five years, other companies have attempted to cash in on Asia’s growing $258-billion beer market, including Heineken, which spent $6.4 billion for the rights to control Asia Pacific Breweries, makers of Tiger beer, in 2012.
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