The acquisition returns OB to the AB InBev portfolio after AB InBev sold the company in July 2009. OB is now the largest brewer in South Korea, which AB InBev believes is an attractive beer market with a strong domestic growth outlook. Additionally, the brewery’s Cass has become the number one beer brand in the country.
Carlos Brito, chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, “We are excited to welcome the Oriental Brewery team back to the AB InBev family. We look forward to re-integrating OB into our global platform, as we endeavor to strengthen our position in the Asia Pacific region and continue growing our brands and providing additional consumer choice in South Korea.”
Joseph Y. Bae, managing partner of KKR Asia and Kok Yew Tang, Chairman and Managing Partner of Affinity, said, “We are proud to have partnered with the Oriental Brewery team by supporting the company’s growth in bringing investment and value-add beyond capital to the partnership. We wish everyone at Oriental Brewery and AB InBev much continued success.”
Once OB has been fully re-integrated into AB InBev, the company expects to drive premium growth by maximizing the combined portfolios of leading beer brands and to achieve improved efficiencies through best-practice sharing. AB InBev also plans to leverage its global platform to export OB brands more widely.
AB InBev drew on existing liquidity to fund the acquisition.