We have noticed that a number of large European businesses have put some of their assets on the market. These include Italian Oil Giant Eni, which has hired Rothschild to sell most of its North Sea fields for more than $1bn. The fields that are up for sale are producing about 20,000 barrels a day and contain about 120 million barrels of oil reserves. World leading brewing giant Inbev is seeking to offload its central and east European units in order to pay off debt. The eastern European operations employ 6000 people and brew 329m gallons of beer. Inbev owns the top selling beers Stella Artois, Beck's and Budweiser. The business perhaps had "one too many" when it bought Anheuser-Busch for £32bn. It needed a bridging loan of £4bn to part finance the takeover just before the credit crunch. Drinks seem to be on the menu as Pernod has put Tia Maria up for sale. Same sort of problem as before as Pernod is looking to raise cash after its £5.6bn takeover of Vin & Spirit, the makers of Absolut Vodka. Tia Maria is expected to fetch between £170m and £200m.
As the central and eastern European economies are put under more pressure we expect to see some more distressed asset sales. So watch this space.
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