MegaBrew deal may not go down easy as hurdles remain

 
Madeline Ratcliffe
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AS THE AB InBev takeover of SABMiller grows nearer, speculation on the terms and tie-ups grows with it.

There were reports that Altria, the largest stakeholder in SAB Miller with 26.6 per cent, was signalling its willingness to sell to AB InBev, by appointing Credit Suisse as finance adviser, separately to the three SABMiller has lined up: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Robey Warshaw.

The Sunday Telegraph suggested that AB In Bev shareholders were thinking of leaving their historic base in Belgium (three Belgian families hold a majority 28.6 per cent stake between them), and moving to the UK to avoid a hefty tax bill if the deal goes ahead.

Molson Coors shares closed at an all time high on Friday, at $84.18. The company is joint owner of MillerCoors, the flagship beer brand partner SAB Miller is expected to offload if the merger goes ahead to satisfy regulators. Most analysts predict MillerCoors will snap up any shares.