Anheuser-Busch InBev (“AB InBev”) (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD), KKR and Affinity Equity Partners (“Affinity”) today announced that AB InBev has successfully completed the acquisition of Oriental Brewery (“OB”), the leading brewer in South Korea.
The acquisition returns OB to the AB InBev portfolio after AB InBev sold the company in July 2009. OB is now the largest brewer in South Korea, an attractive beer market with a strong domestic growth outlook. Additionally, Cass has become the number one beer brand in the country, with a healthy consumer brand preference.
Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, “We are excited to welcome the Oriental Brewery team back to the AB InBev family. We look forward to re-integrating OB into our global platform, as we endeavor to strengthen our position in the Asia Pacific region and continue growing our brands and providing additional consumer choice in South Korea.”
Joseph Y. Bae, Managing Partner of KKR Asia and Kok Yew Tang, Chairman and Managing Partner of Affinity, said, “ We are proud to have partnered with the Oriental Brewery team by supporting the company’s growth in bringing investment and value-add beyond capital to the partnership. We wish everyone at Oriental Brewery and AB InBev much continued success.”Once OB has been fully re-integrated into AB InBev, the company expects to drive premium growth by maximizing the combined portfolios of leading beer brands and to achieve improved efficiencies through best-practice sharing. AB InBev also plans to leverage its global platform to export OB brands more widely. AB InBev drew on existing liquidity to fund the acquisition. Cass to bring 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil TM to South Korea As anticipation builds around the globe for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil TM, the company is also announcing that Cass will become Official Beer Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup TM for South Korea, joining other leading AB InBev brands who have local sponsorship rights for the FIFA World Cup TM in their respective markets through AB InBev’s long-standing relationship with the tournament. Football and sports in general are a key global consumption and celebration moment and the FIFA World Cup TM offers a strong and relevant global platform to connect with passionate football fans around the world. The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil TM will provide Cass with a far-reaching and influential platform to leverage the excitement around this highly anticipated event. The enclosed information constitutes regulated information as defined in the Belgian Royal Decree of 14 November 2007 regarding the duties of issuers of financial instruments which have been admitted for trading on a regulated market. Forward Looking Statement: This release may contain certain forward-looking statements reflecting the current views of the party making such statement with respect to the proposed transaction described herein, as well as the current views of the management of AB InBev on, among other things, strategic objectives, business prospects, future financial condition, projected levels of debt, and the synergies it is able to achieve. These statements involve risks and uncertainties. The ability of the parties to consummate the transaction and of AB InBev to achieve these objectives and targets are dependent on many factors some of which may be outside of management’s control. In some cases, words such as “believe”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “will”, “look forward” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements are used. All statements other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they reflect current expectations and assumptions as to future events and circumstances that may not prove accurate. The actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons including with respect to AB InBev the risks described under Item 3.D of AB InBev’s annual report on Form 20-F filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 25 March 2014, as well as risks associated with the proposed transaction, including uncertainty as whether AB InBev will be able to consummate the transaction on the terms described in this document or in the definitive agreements, the ability to obtain necessary governmental approvals, the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of transaction, including as a result of a delay in completing the transaction or difficulty in integrating the businesses of the companies involved, and the amount and timing of any costs savings and operating synergies. AB InBev, KKR and Affinity Equity cannot assure you that the proposed transaction or the future results, level of activity, performance or achievements of OB will meet the expectations reflected in any forward looking statement. Moreover, neither AB InBev, KKR, Affinity Equity nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any forward-looking statements. Unless AB InBev, KKR or Affinity Equity is required by law to update these statements, AB InBev, KKR and Affinity Equity will not necessarily update any of these statements after the date hereof, either to confirm the actual results or to report a change in its expectations.