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CVC strikes second biggest PE deal of year with €2.65bn StarBev sale

3 Apr 2012

CVC Capital Partners has struck the second largest private equity deal of the year by selling Eastern European brewer StarBev to Molson Coors for €2.65bn.

The deal comes two and a half years after CVC splashed out €2.23bn on the company, which has nine breweries generating sales of almost €700m.

Molson Coors beat off reported competition from former owner Anheuser-Busch InBev as well as SABMiller, Carlsberg and Heineken to secure the company.

CVC partner and head of Central and Eastern Europe István Szőke said, “We are very pleased with the success of CVC’s first investment in the CEE region.

Since CVC invested in StarBev in 2009 we have created an innovation driven, highly profitable and cash generative company from a collection of assets during a difficult period economically and for the industry.

“StarBev is now well-placed for future growth and has a great new home in Molson Coors.”

StarBev employs about 4,100 people across its brewing operations, and sells beers including Staropramen, Bergenbier and Borsodi.

Molson Coors president and chief executive Peter Swinburn said, “The Central and Eastern European beer market is attractive, with strong historical trends and upside potential as the region returns to its pre-economic-crisis growth rates.”

Despite being the second largest private equity deal of the year it is dwarfed by Apollo Global Management’s $7.15bn February deal for the oil and gas exploration arm of El Paso.

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