Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has been picked as the preferred buyer for A-B InBev's Oriental Brewery. KKR's bid was not the highest at around $1.9 billion but had the strongest financing plan with backing from JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and HSBC Bank. The bid also included a $100 million contingent payout if the company's EBITDA beat estimates in the next two years. Oriental Brewery is South Korea's number two beer brewer, and also drew bids from MBK Partners and Affinity Equity Partners.
According to the PitchBook Platform, big private equity deals have been scarce in 2009, with only four deals over $1 billion announced so far in the US. The largest of which is CVC Capital Partners' $4.4 billion deal for iShares, which is mainly being financed by its seller Barclays Bank. The seizure in credit markets following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers appears to have been what choked the flow of deals over $1 billion. From the beginning of 2008 to September 15th, thirty-seven deals over $1 billion had been closed, but since then, only seven have closed.