Anheuser to recycle some of its empties?

Was the world really that much of a different place in December 2009 when compared with today?

The reason I ask is that back in December 2009, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian brewing multinational, sold its central European brewing activities, including Staropramen, a Prague-based beer manufacturer, to CVC Capital Partners for a reported US$2.3bn.

This morning, Anheuser-Busch InBev, amongst other, as yet unnamed, brewers, is being named as a possible buyer for Staropramen, thus providing a potential exit for CVC and, according to the reports, valuing Staropramen at around US$3bn. As I am sure you can imagine, no one from anywhere is officially providing any comment on the accuracy of the story. But it does beg the question as to why dispose of an asset in the first place if it’s going to cost you even more to buy it back some three years later?

However, when you look a little deeper at the other breweries that Anheuser-Busch has been linked with over the last few years compared with what the company has actually acquired, it would appear that on the face of it Anheuser is named as a possible buyer for every brewer that comes up for sale. Whereas the reality is that Anheuser has been pretty quiet on the acquisitions front, more often preferring to dispose of its assets. The company has completed only two acquisitions, but been the seller on five occasions, since the company’s formation as a result of InBev acquiring Anheuser Busch back in 2008 for US$52bn.

So perhaps beer goggles are affecting who is being viewed as a possible suitor for Staropramen?

Filed under: dealmaking, drinks, brands