Budweiser brewer sells Australian unit to pay off debt

FILE - In this Thursday, March 3, 2011 file photo, a man walks past the AB InBev logos, in Leuven, Belgium. AB Inbev, the world's biggest brewer with brands like Budweiser and Corona, is selling its unit in Australia to reduce debt after it decided against listing shares in Asia. The company said Friday, July 19, 2019 it is selling Carlton & United Breweries for $16 billion AUD ($11.3 billion) to Japanese brewing rivals Asahi Group. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, file)

BRUSSELS — AB Inbev, the world's biggest brewer with brands like Budweiser and Corona, is selling its unit in Australia to reduce debt after it decided against listing shares in Asia.

The company said Friday that it is selling Carlton & United Breweries for $16 billion AUD ($11.3 billion) to Japanese rival Asahi Group.

AB Inbev, which is based in Belgium, said it will use almost all the money from the deal to pay down debt. The company has accrued high debt after going on an acquisition spree, including buying Anheuser-Busch in 2008 and its next closest rival, SABMiller, in 2015.

The company had planned to list some shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but said this month it no longer plans to do so due to tough market conditions.

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