Asahi group, a Japanese beer giant, said on Friday that it would suspend overseas investment after spending $11 billion to acquire the Australian business of AB InBev (65.14%, 1.57% and 2.47%), and is committed to halving the group’s debt.
“Basically, we don’t think about any big acquisitions,” said Atsushi Katsuki, Asahi’s chief executive, who took office last month
The company said it plans to triple its debt to EBITDA ratio from six times at the end of last year.
In Japan, Asahi group has been hit more severely than its competitors in COVID-19 because of its dependence on selling barreled beer to restaurants and bars, as many restaurants and bars are in trouble in the long crisis. Nevertheless, the company forecast in February that its full year operating profit would exceed that of fy2019.