Anheuser Busch InBev managers will take all but one of 19 key positions following the brewer’s more than $100bn (€118bn) takeover of rival SABMiller, according to details of the transaction announced yesterday.
The deal, sweetened last week to help make up for a drop in the British currency, has been approved by both companies’ boards but still needs to be voted on by shareholders, some of whom oppose the deal.
AB InBev is known for its cost-cutting and centralised control, which some analysts have said may be tough to impose on all corners of SAB’s business, with its joint ventures and equity stakes in markets such as Turkey and Africa.
AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, said the new company – which has yet to be named – would continue to be based in its home town of Leuven, Belgium, while its operations would be managed from New York.
SAB’s offices in Woking, outside of London, will be kept open for a transitional period, but its central London headquarters will be wound down. The bulk of SAB’s European businesses are being sold as part of the deal. “It looks as if all the SAB group and regional HQs will be eventually phased out,” said Bernstein Research analysts.
The new company will be run by teams of “functional chiefs” and “zone presidents”, both reporting to AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito. All but one will go to current AB InBev executives. There was no mention of roles for SABMiller’s ceo Alan Clark or finance chief Domenic De Lorenzo in the new company.
AB InBev will sell brands Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime, to Japan’s Asahi, with more sales planned. (Reuters)
By Martinne Geller
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