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Polish billionaire may join race for SABMiller's east Europe brands: report

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Polish billionaire Sebastian Kulczyk could team up with private equity funds in a potential joint bid for SABMiller's central and eastern European beer brands, Puls Biznesu daily said on Thursday quoting unnamed sources.

[WARSAW] Polish billionaire Sebastian Kulczyk could team up with private equity funds in a potential joint bid for SABMiller's central and eastern European beer brands, Puls Biznesu daily said on Thursday quoting unnamed sources.

The brewing businesses, based in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, are up for sale as part of Anheuser-Busch InBev's US$100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller.

AB InBev, maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, has offered to sell SAB's entire European business to ease antitrust approval for the takeover, which is among the largest in corporate history.

Puls Biznesu said Sebastian Kulczyk, who now owns a 1.5 per cent stake in SABMiller, could become a partner to private equity funds that need to team up to match AB InBev's price expectations.

Kulczyk Investments, a company owned by Sebastian Kulczyk, was not immediately available for comment.

The stake in SABMiller is Jan Kulczyk's most valuable asset.

The Polish daily said Advent International, KKR, BC Partners, CVC and Mid Europa Partners are among the funds interested in buying SABMiller's local brands, which include Czech Pilsner Urquell, Polish Lech and Tyskie and Hungarian Dreher.

China Resources Enterprises, Japan's Asahi and Kirin as well as Czech R2G are also potential bidders in the deal valued at 5-7 billion euros (S$7.6-S$10.7 billion), which is expected to start after Oct 10, Puls Biznesu said.

REUTERS