Anheuser-Busch InBev has formally informed European Union antitrust regulators of its plan to sell SABMiller’s premium European brands to try to secure approval for its $100 billion-plus takeover of the London-based brewer.
The world’s top brewer has already struck a deal to sell the assets to Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings, a tactic aimed at staving off a possible lengthy investigation of the biggest ever deal in the consumer goods industry.
“This proposal concerns the European premium brand families of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, UK and internationally, excluding certain U.S. rights,” an AB Inbev spokeswoman said.
The European Commission said it would now decide by May 24 whether to clear the deal, a filing on its website showed without giving further details.
The EU competition enforcer will seek feedback from rivals and other third parties before deciding whether the offer is sufficient to allay regulatory worries.
The SABMiller acquisition would allow AB InBev, maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, to expand into countries such as Colombia and Peru and crucially, Africa.
AB Inbev is also selling SABMiller’s stake in U.S. joint venture MillerCoors to Molson Coors Brewing and SABMiller’s stake in its CR Snow venture to China Resources Beer to address competition concerns in other regions.
By Foo Yun Chee and Martinne Geller
Recent reports reveal The Body Shop will shut up to half of its 198 stores in the UK and cut the size of its head office, incurring hundreds of job losses. According to the firm overseeing the restructuring of the beauty retailer, closures will begin this Tuesday.
Amidst brewing tensions, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of states are poised to take legal action as early as next week, aiming to prevent grocery giant Kroger’s $24.6 billion acquisition bid for Albertsons, Bloomberg reported.
The owner of Guinness and Baileys has hired financial service group Rothschild to explore the sale, which includes Pimm’s, fruit liqueur brand Safari and Pampero rum. Each brand could be offloaded individually or as a three, according to Sky News.