Canada's mounted police force is among the bidders poised to make a £4bn offer for SABMiller’s Central and Eastern European drinks brands.
A pension fund manager that invests on behalf of the Mounties, PSP Investments, is one of the groups preparing a deal, the Sunday Times reported. Buyout group KKR and Advent International are also said to be drawing up offers.
An official auction for the brands, which include Pilsner Urquell, Dreher Breweries and Ursus Breweries, has yet to be launched.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) offered to sell the British drinks giant’s brands in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in late April to help its £79bn “megabrew” takeover get the green light in Europe.
The brewers unveiled the agreed, expected timetable for the merger following the satisfaction of the pre-conditions, which were completed on 29 July after getting the all-clear from Chinese authorities.
AB InBev sold SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to Japanese drinks firm Asahi for £2.4bn in February, and was reportedly weighing up a £5bn bid for the Eastern and Central European brands in June.
AB InBev declined to comment. PSP, Advent and KRR were not available for comment.