CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH acted for Foster’s Group in its final exit from the Asian region with the sale of its Vietnamese and Indian businesses for US$225 million ($303 million), completed last month.
The US$105 9 ($141) million sale of Foster’s business to Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) in Vietnam, and the Foster’s business and brand in India to SABMiller plc for US$120 million, took the total net proceeds from offshore sales of Fosters’ interests to $1 billion, with $5 million forgone.
Corrs’ team advised Foster’s on corporate and tax issues. It was led by Jeremy Davis, a partner in the firm’s corporate advisory group. He was assisted by Vanessa Smith, Stewart Grieve, Rhys Jewell, Tim Allen and a number of other Corrs lawyers.
In Vietnam, Fosters retained ownership of its brand, but sold its breweries in Da Nang and Tien Giang, along with the associated local brands to APB. Foster’s entered a licence agreement for a limited term for the Foster’s brand, and is providing brand management and technical support to APB.
As well as distributing Fosters under licence in Vietnam, APB is also producing Foster’s for export across Asia.
In India, Foster’s has sold its brewing business in Aurangabad and associated local brands, as well as the Foster’s brand in India.
When announcing the final sales in Asia, Fosters Group CEO Trevor Hoy said while it remained a popular brand worldwide, they had struggled to generate “adequate value” from the Fosters brand.
“However, over the last four months, we’ve unlocked more than A$1 billion through the sale of the Foster’s brand in Europe to Scottish & Newcastle, the sale of our brewing business in China to Suntory Ltd and now the divestment of our remaining Asian brewing businesses.”
The Foreign Investments Review Board gave approval for the sales last month, and Foster’s finalised the sales on 12 September.
When the sales were completed, an additional amount of US$7 ($9.4) million was received by Fosters for cash and working capital.