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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

KKR's Korean brewery win fuelled by hot soup and soju sessions, (NYSE: BUD)

A story Oriental Brewery boss Chang In-soo often tells about his days as a soju salesman is how he and two clients once worked through 29 bottles of the traditional Korean rice liquor at a single sitting. He feels bad, he says, they didn't manage 30. His stamina in capturing 60 percent of the local beer market has been just as eye-catching, helping to explain why Anheuser-Busch InBev SA has agreed to purchase back the brewer for nearly three times the price it achieved five years ago when it sold it to private equity investors."'The war is won on the ground', that is what Chang knows, he motivates the sales guys to go out, pound the pavement," said a source who knows him.One anecdote colleagues tell of Chang's motivational style recalls him turning up with his wife at 5 a.m. in the depths of the Korean winter to give out bowls of hot soup to dockworkers and drivers toiling in the freezing loading bays.Oriental Brewery (OB) has certainly performed well in the five years under KKR & Co and Korea specialist Affinity Equity Partners. Core profit (EBITDA) increased 25 percent last year to $500 million - 2.3 times greater than when they bought it from InBev, which had retained an option to repurchase.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, formerly Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, is a brewing company. Shares of BUD fell by 1.91% or $-1.98/share to $101.47. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $83.94 and as high as $106.83. On average, 1136470 shares of BUD exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2721091.