Megabrew latest: AB InBev tells EU antitrust regulators it would sell SABMiller's Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands

 
Francesca Washtell
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Peroni At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 Collections
SABMiller's Peroni brand will be sold to Japan's Asahi Group if the deal goes through (Source: Getty)

Anheuser-Busch InBev has attempted to avoid a corporate hangover in its takeover of fellow drinks giant SABMiller, in the latest move in the so-called megabrew deal.

AB InBev has formally informed European antitrust regulators it plans to sell the premium European Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands owned by SABMiller to avert competition concerns as the drinks giant tries to gain approval for its £71bn takeover - for which an agreement was reached last October.

The assets will be sold to Japan's Asahi Group to avoid a lengthy investigation of the megabrew deal, reported Reuters.

The European Commission has said it will decide by 24 May whether to clear the deal. In the meantime the competition authority will seek feedback from rivals and other third parties before deciding whether the offer sufficiently puts to bed regulatory concerns.

Outside of Europe, AB InBev would also sell SABMiller's stake in the US joint venture MillCoors to Molson Coors Brewing.

To try to pave the way for the megabrew deal, AB InBev embarked on a jumbo euro bond deal in mid-March, offering a six-tranche, euro-dominated deal with maturities ranging from four to 20 years in length at a minimum of $1bn each in size.

The Stella Artois maker also raised its dividend on the back of missed expectations in its fourth quarter results, where revenues were up seven per cent.

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