Asahi to buy Australia's Carlton and United Breweries for $11 billion

24, Jul. 2019

TOKYO, NNA - Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., the holding company for Japan's largest brewer, will acquire Carlton & United Breweries of Australia for 1.2 trillion yen ($11 billion) from its Belgian parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The decision comes as shipments of beer and low-malt beer in Japan continue to post record lows due to the aging population and changing consumer tastes, prompting Asahi to buy brewers in the Czech Republic and Italy from Anheuser-Busch InBev recently to tap European markets.

Asahi said Friday that the acquisition would be completed by the end of March 2020. The company will finance the transaction by the combination of the issuance of common stock, subordinated bonds and bank loans.

The company said the transaction early next year would boost the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) of Asahi’s Australian business to around 100 billion yen from an estimated A$1.1 billion (83 billion yen) at the end of 2019, on a par with the EBITDA of its European operations, but below the scale of its Japanese earnings, which are about 200 billion yen.

CUB has a range of popular brands in Australia, such as “Carlton” and “Great Northern.”