Private equity firms vie for Korean brewer

Affinity Equity Partners, MBK, Bain, Carlyle and KKR have reportedly submitted bids for Oriental Brewery, Korea’s second largest brewer, in a deal that could be worth more than $2bn.

A number of private equity firms have submitted bids for the acquisition of South Korea’s Oriental Brewery in an auction that has also drawn the interest of strategic buyers, according to a source familiar with the auction.

The sale of the brewery, expected to fetch north of $2 billion, is being managed by JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank.

Ten first round bids have been submitted, including offers from major private equity players with established interests in Korea and those that have a good focus on consumer goods, the source said.

Asia-focused private equity firms Affinity Equity Partners and MBK Partners, as well as Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are pursuing Oriental Brewery, according to Reuters.

Carlyle and KKR declined to comment. Bain could not be reached by press time. MBK and Affinity did not respond to a request for comment.

Anheuser-Busch InBev owns a controlling stake in Oriental Brewery. It wants to dispose of its non-core assets as it looks to repay a $7 billion bridge loan linked to InBev's $52 billion buyout of US-based Anheuser Busch last year, Reuters reported.