Anheuser mulls Rolling Rock sale - report

Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking for a buyer for its Rolling Rock brand, which has suffered from lagging sales, according to The Wall Street Journal online.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is examining a sale of its struggling Rolling Rock brand, The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition, citing people familiar with the matter.

Anheuser-Busch bought Rolling Rock from InBev in 2006 for $82 million. At the time, InBev said it was selling the brand to focus on its leading imports like Stella Artois and Bass Pale Ale.

The Rolling Rock brand returned to InBev's umbrella after the Belgian brewer acquired Anheuser-Busch in November 2008, forming Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI). The company has been looking at assets to divest in order to repay debt from the $52 million merger.

During its most recent fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 0.8% decline in global beer sales and a 10.% drop in earnings, citing higher financing costs.

According to the Journal, citing industry observers, Rolling Rock hasn't gotten as much attention as some of the other hundreds of brands owned by the company.

Anheuser-Busch InBev declined comment, reported the Journal, which said potential suitors could include North American Breweries Inc., owned by private equity firm KPS Capital Partners, or C2 Imports, a California beer importer.

The Journal also said Anheuser-Busch InBev had entertained offers earlier this year, with the help of investment bank Lazard Ltd., but was not satisfied with any of those bids. To top of page

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