Banks line up for AB InBev deal

CVC are closing in on the Central and Eastern European assets of Belgian brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), with around 15 banks lined up to finance US$734m of the reported US$2bn bid.

Banks believed to be in the syndicate include HSBC, ING, JPMorgan and UniCredit, Erste, Fortis, Mediobanca and SG.

A complicated deal because of its cross-jurisdictional nature, CVC and AB InBev have yet to actually sign on the deal as the two continue to thrash out a price.

The deal may be part financed through a high-yield bond, designed to reduce the pressure on what is still a limited loan capital market for leveraged deals

If the deal goes through, it will be the largest European LBO of 2009, surpassing the €600m-plus sale of UK energy and research business Wood Mackenzie by Candover to Charterhouse Capital Partners.