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Carlton Draught, VB sold to Asahi for $16 billion

Carlton Draught and VB have been sold to Asahi. Images: AAP

Japanese beer company Asahi has agreed to purchase Carlton Draught and Victoria Bitter’s parent company CUB for $16 billion.

The deal was announced on Friday afternoon with Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) announcing that its former parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev had decided to divest CUB to Asahi for US$11.3 billion (AU$16 billion).

CUB is known for producing Carlton Draught, VB and Pure Blonde. Based in Melbourne, the company was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev - the world’s largest brewing company - in 2016.

In a statement this afternoon, CUB said the divestment will allow Anheuser-Busch InBev to “accelerate its expansion” into other markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

The company said it would also deliver shareholder value.

“We continue to see great potential for our business in APAC and the region remains a growth engine within our company,” Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito said on Friday.

“With our unparalleled portfolio of brands, strong commercial plans and talented people, we are uniquely positioned to capture opportunities for growth across the APAC region.”

The two companies had been in discussions since April this year, with Anheuser-Busch InBev - the world’s largest brewer - recently deciding to abort plans for a US$10 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong for its Asian business. That included CUB as well as Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois.

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