Asahi secures $16.5bn loan for CUB deal

27 May, 2020 by Andy Young

Asahi has secured a $16.5bn loan from Japanese bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, to finance its acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries.

In a statement about the loan, Asahi said: “Reference is further made to our announcement of 7 May 2020, being titled as ‘Announcement regarding the completion timing of the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of the Australian business of AnheuserBusch InBev’ in which we announced that we will move to complete the acquisition on 1 June 2020. Today [25 May], we have signed the contract regarding the bank loan as below for the proposed acquisition of CUB.

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“We will refinance the borrowing based on the contract by raising debt and JPY300.0 billion ($4.2bn) of equity credit attributes.”

Looking ahead at the impact on Asahi’s financial performance, the company said: “Once the completion takes place, we will make a disclosure on the impact on Asahi’s consolidated and non-consolidated financial results in our announcement by the financial results of the second quarter of FY2020 with taking prospects of convergence of COVID-19 pandemic into consideration.”

The deal will bring to an end Asahi’s 10-month pursuit of CUB, after it was revealed that AB InBev had agreed to sell CUB to Asahi in July last year, with substantial proceeds from the deal to be used to pay down AB InBev’s debt.

Earlier this month final step in the approval process came from the Foreign Investment Review Board, after which Asahi Beverages Chairman Peter Margin said: “Both parties will move to complete this acquisition on 1 June, with CUB joining the Asahi Beverages family on that day.”

In a statement Asahi added: “CUB will become a business division of the Asahi Beverages Regional Hub within Oceania, along with Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, Asahi Premium Beverages and Asahi Beverages New Zealand.”

After deal was announced in July last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said it would investigate the deal. During the review process Cider Australia raised concerns regarding the impact on Australia’s cider category. Those concerns were addressed when the ACCC said it would not oppose the deal, subject to Asahi divesting two beer and three cider brands.

And while the Independent Brewers Association said the ACCC had ‘thrown draught beer drinkers to the wolves’, the deal will now happen.

Speaking in July last year Peter Margin, Asahi’s Executive Chairman, said he could see “a terrific future for Asahi and CUB”, and his vision will now be put into place.