- Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) completed the $5.8 billion purchase of South Korea's Oriental Brewery on Tuesday, returning the brewer to its portfolio after selling it in 2009.
- The Belgian brewer bought Oriental Brewery back from private equity funds KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners after selling it for $1.8 billion to help pay down debt following its $52 billion buyout of Anheuser-Busch in 2008.
- KKR later sold half of its Oriental Brewery stake to Affinity, a regional private-equity firm. Now that it's back at Anheuser-Beusch, the South Korean brewer's brand Cass will become the official sponsor for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and will be promoted beyond Asia.
AB InBev's Chief Executive Carlos Brito 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." That AB InBev is in a position to make such an acquisition indicates the brand is doing well. While traditional beer sales are down in the U.S., AB InBev has adapted to market conditions, offering craft-like beers that are very popular. It is also expanding into hard cider with the launch of Johnny Appleseed in the U.S. this month.