April 16, 2012 7:04 PM

Cheers! Debevoise and Sidley Austin Lead on $1.2 Billion Beer Deal

Posted by Irene Plagianos

The world’s largest brewer just got bigger.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV announced Monday that it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Caribbean beverage giant Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana for $1.2 billion.

Under the deal’s terms, Anheuser-Busch InBev subsidiary Companhia de Bebidas das Américas–Ambev will pay CND majority owner E. Leon Jimenes SA roughly $1 billion cash and buy a 9.3 percent stake in CND from competitor Heineken NV for $237 million.

The deal gives Anheuser-Busch InBev a 51 percent stake in CND, the maker of Presidente beer, and expands the company’s presence across the Caribbean.

Debevoise Plimpton is advising Ambev on the purchase, with a team led by corporate partner Maurizio Levi-Minzi. Other Debevoise lawyers working on the matter include tax partners Gary Friedman, Peter Furci, executive compensation partner Jonathan Lewis, and corporate and intellectual property counsel Judith Church.

Debevoise, longtime outside counsel to Ambev, represented the company in August 2010 with a team led by Levi-Minzi, in its Venezualen merger agreement with Cerveceria Regional S.A. (“Regional”). The terms of that deal were undisclosed. For the Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana transaction, the company also turned to Dominican firm Pellerano Herrera.

Sabine Chalmers is Anheuser-Busch InBev’s chief legal and corporate affairs officer.

According to the Ambev press release announcing the deal, E. Leon Jimenes SA was advised by Sidley AustinPereyra Asociados, and Federico C. Alvarez. Sidley did not respond to a request for information about lawyers on the deal.

The deal is expected to close in June.

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