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CVC Said to Hire Adviser After Japanese Approaches for StarBev

CVC Capital Partners Ltd., the British private equity firm that owns Formula One, is weighing whether to pursue a sale of Staropramen brewer StarBev after receiving approaches for the company, three people with knowledge of the plans said.

CVC has retained Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) to help evaluate expressions of interest from brewers that include Kirin Holdings Co., Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. and Suntory Holdings Ltd. of Japan, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private and at an early stage. Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), which sold the business to CVC in 2009, has a right of first offer, they said.

Other companies that may be interested in StarBev include the Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes Biracilik & Malt Sanayii A.?., SABMiller Plc (SAB), Denmark’s Carlsberg A/S (CARLA), and Heineken NV (HEIA) of the Netherlands, one person said.

CVC, which manages a 10.8 billion euro ($14.3 billion) European buyout fund, purchased the operations, which include breweries in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, for $2.2 billion, or 1.5 billion euros at the time. Renamed StarBev, the company employs more than 4,000 people and owns the well-known Czech lager Staropramen.

Spokesmen for CVC, Kirin, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlsberg, Heineken, Efes, SAB and Nomura declined to comment. A spokesman for Asahi couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that CVC had received expressions of interest in StarBev.

23 Feb. 2012

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