Japan's Asahi to bid for SABMiller's East Europe beer brands - Nikkei

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(Reuters) - Tokyo-based brewer Asahi Group Holdings 2502.T plans to offer more than 500 billion yen ($4.87 billion) for SABMiller Plc's SAB.L beer business in five Eastern European countries, the Nikkei business daily said.

SABMiller's business in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania will be opened up to bidding after Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BR acquires the company next week, the Nikkei said.

Asked to comment on the report, an Asahi spokeswoman said the company was not currently taking any steps towards proposing an acquisition or bidding for SABMiller’s assets.

Asahi Group President Akiyoshi Koji told Reuters in May that the company will not bid for the Eastern European assets that SABMiller is selling to appease anti-monopoly regulators.

SABMiller could not be reached outside business hours.

The Japanese brewer has already agreed to buy brands such as Italy’s Peroni from SABMiller for 2.55 billion euros ($2.84 billion).

Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru and Thomas Wilson in Tokyo; Editing by Don Sebastian and Kenneth Maxwell