USA: AB InBev sells minority share in its can business

AB InBev will sell a 49.9% stake in its US-based metal container plants for approximately USD 3 billion to a group of investors led by New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management. The transaction is expected to close by 8 January 2021.

The deal will help AB InBev to generate funds to repay its heavy debt burden which mainly stems from its USD 108 billion takeover of SABMiller in 2016. “This transaction, once completed, will allow AB InBev to create additional shareholder value by optimizing its business at an attractive price and generate proceeds to repay debt, in line with its deleveraging commitments,” the company said in a statement today.

AB InBev will retain operational control of its US-based metal container plants and flexibility in its ability to serve its customers and consumers. A long-term supply agreement will provide for AB InBev’s metal container supply needs over the course of the relationship. In addition, AB InBev will have the right, but not the obligation, to reacquire the minority stake beginning on the fifth anniversary of the close of the transaction, at pre-determined financial terms.

For Apollo, the transaction presents “a unique opportunity to invest in high-quality assets with long-term, stable cashflows” alongside the world’s leading brewer, AB InBev. “We are pleased to invest alongside AB InBev in its leading US metal container business, supporting AB InBev’s strategic plans and its employees,” said Robert V. Seminara, Senior Partner and Head of Europe at Apollo.

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