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Asahi to Buy SABMiller’s Eastern European Beers in $7.8 Billion Deal

  • Brewer to acquire Europe brands such as Czech Pilsner Urquell
  • Deal is largest overseas beer purchase by a Japanese company
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Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy SABMiller Plc’s central and eastern European assets from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV for 7.3 billion euros ($7.8 billion), in a move that catapults Japan’s largest brewer to third place on the continent.

Asahi expects the acquisition -- which spans five countries and includes beer brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Kozel and Tyskie -- to close in the first half of 2017, the Tokyo-based brewer said in a statement Tuesday. The deal would help Asahi position its overseas business as a growth engine to transform itself into a global powerhouse, it said.