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UR7.3 billion Asahi acquisition of AB InBev businesses in CEE marks biggest acquisition of a foreign beer operation by a Japanese brewer

15 Decembrie 2016   |   BizLawyer

A&O is lead adviser to Asahi on the M&A, commercial, antitrust, banking, tax and employment aspects of its share purchase agreement with AB InBev to acquire businesses in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania and other related assets that were owned by SABMiller prior to its merger with AB InBev.

 
 
​Allen & Overy said today that the acquisition by Asahi of five AB InBev businesses in Central and Eastern Europe marks the biggest acquisition of a foreign beer operation by a Japanese brewer. It is also the largest deal in Asahi’s 127-year history.

A&O is lead adviser to Asahi on the M&A, commercial, antitrust, banking, tax and employment aspects of its share purchase agreement with AB InBev to acquire businesses in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania and other related assets that were owned by SABMiller prior to its merger with AB InBev.

The transaction has an enterprise value of EUR7.3bn and is expected to close in 2017. It follows the EUR2.55bn acquisition by Asahi of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime earlier this year, a deal on which A&O also advised Asahi.


The A&O team is being led by Corporate partner Richard Hough with senior associate Matthew Appleton and includes partner Jim Ford on commercial aspects, partner Alasdair Balfour on antitrust aspects and partner Trevor Borthwick on the debt side. Partner Lydia Challen provided tax advice and partner Sarah Henchoz provided employment advice. Nick Wall is the lead partner in Tokyo. Richard Hough commented: “The two transformational deals for Asahi this year establish it as a distinct global player in the alcoholic beverages market.”

The A&O teams in CEE region, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania, played a significant role in the transaction given the scope of the due diligence exercise and the large number of local law considerations associated with an asset transfer.  The extensive due diligence exercise was coordinated by head of A&O Corporate practice in Prague, counsel Prokop Verner, and carried out by associates Jakub Čech (Prague), Tomáš Búry (Bratislava), Tomasz Ciecwierz (senior associate, Warsaw), Imre Kasa (senior associate, Budapest) and Adrian Cazan (counsel, RTPR Allen & Overy, Bucharest).

Prokop commented on the transaction: “The acquisition of Plzeňský prazdroj and its global brand ‘Pilsner Urquell’ and the other CEE businesses of SABMiller by Asahi will establish Asahi as a global player, focusing on a leading premium brand portfolio. We were delighted to work on this landmark deal and help Asahi to succeed in this very competitive process.”

Over the past 12 months the Czech Republic has witnessed lively activity in M&A in various sectors energy, e-commerce, FMCG and health, with A&O advising on a number of these, including a consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Funds on the acquisition of a 30% interest in EP Infrastructure, ALPHA Corporation on its acquisition of ASSA ABLOY’s global Car Lock business, and MIH Allegro, a subsidiary of Naspers, on its sale of Netretail Holding, an online retailer with activities in Central and Eastern Europe, and Heureka, the Czech online search comparison to Rockaway Capital.  The prospects for the first half of 2017 are also promising.
 
 

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