Asahi Group Holdings plans to bid for SABMiller’s East European unit. According to Nikkei business daily the group will offer more than $4.9bln for breweries in five East European countries. The move comes as a surprise as Asahi Group President Akiyoshi Koji in May announced that Asahi would not bid for brands like Pilsener Urquell (Czech Republic), Tyskie and Lech (Poland), Dreher (Hungary), Ursus (Romania) and Topvar (Slovakia). The breweries are on sale due to the merger with AB InBev as a requirement set by the European Union and its Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.
Other bidders said to be interested in the remains of SABMiller are China Resources Beer Holdings and funds like Advent International, BC Partners, KKR, CVC, Mid Europa Partners and Kulczyk Holding.
Asahi Group Holdings already agreed to buy the breweries Peroni (Italy), Grolsch (Netherlands) and Meantime (U.K.) in Western Europe for $2.84 billion.