InBev (Euronext/INB) has entered into an agreement with Cofinimmo (Euronext/COFB) under which InBev Belgium will sell 90% of Immobrew S.A./N.V., a subsidiary which directly owns 824 pubs and some residential real estate locations in Belgium and indirectly 245 in the Netherlands, for €419 million for 90%, on a debt and cash free basis. At the same time InBev will enter into a lease agreement with Immobrew and some of its affiliates.
Consistent with InBev's commitment to free up capital invested in non-core activities, InBev has decided to sell parts of its real estate assets in Belgium and the Netherlands, thereby enhancing the focus on its core beer business. The portfolio is sold to Cofinimmo, the largest listed real estate company in Belgium.
The structure of the transaction ensures that InBev Belgium will retain a 10% interest in Immobrew. Immobrew will hold lease agreements (commercial types) of 27 years (plus renewal mechanism) with InBev for an initial rent of €26.8 million p.a. (indexed to CPI).
InBev's business in pubs and bars is a tradition and strength, and will remain a key factor for success in connecting with consumers and InBev will continue to be the dedicated partner and supplier for the respective properties in Belgium and the Netherlands. The commercial relationship between the pub tenants and InBev will not change. Cofinimmo has committed to further investments in the properties, and it is the aim of both parties to assure the continued success of the property portfolio.
InBev's Zone President for Western Europe, Stéfan Descheemaeker, said, "Freeing up resources will allow us to concentrate on winning with consumers, via our beer brands. The on-trade segment in Belgium and the Netherlands remains a key priority for us as it is one of the main channels through which we connect with consumers. We are particularly happy to have Cofinimmo, a leading Belgian real estate company, as our partner for this important segment."
Jean-Edouard Carbonnelle, Chief Financial Officer of Cofinimmo, said, "We are thrilled to welcome InBev as our most important private long term tenant into our portfolio, to ensure a secure income stream and to capture long term capital gains associated with many outstanding pub locations. We are confident that our partnership with InBev will be successful and that this diversification into a new type of real estate for Cofinimmo will create increased returns for our shareholders and an improved risk allocation."
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2007. Completion is subject to certain customary conditions, such as approval from the relevant authorities and involvement of workers' councils.
This acquisition will be financed by new credit facilities exclusively. No issue of new shares is envisaged by Cofinimmo.
Lazard acted as sole financial advisor to InBev in the transaction.