Megabrew deal: US Department of Justice gives clearance to AB InBev's takeover of SABMiller

Francesca Washtell
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The US Department of Justice, rather than President Obama, made the final decision (Source: Getty)

The US Department of Justice has given the green light to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) proposed takeover of British drinks giant SABMiller with conditions.

AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has agreed to divest SABMiller’s interest in MillerCoors to Molson Coors if the “megabrew” takeover goes ahead.

In April, a US antitrust organisation flagged "serious competitive concerns" with the acquisition, arguing it could smother craft and independent brewers.

The deal has now received antitrust approval in 21 jurisdictions, including the key European Union and South African markets in May and June respectively, but still needs to receive approval from the Chinese authorities to go ahead.

Read more: AB InBev offers to sell more SABMiller brands to secure Megabrew deal

In early July, a China Resources Beer executive said the country's regulator was set to approve the deal.

Meanwhile, the SABMiller board of directors met today ahead of the company’s AGM tomorrow to discuss shareholder frustration over the terms of the deal.

Disgruntled investors, which include the hedge fund Elliott, are unhappy with the proposed £44 per share deal that was announced last November. They believe another stock and cash option favours the firm’s two major shareholders, Colombia's Santo Domingo family and cigarette maker Altria.

SABMiller declined to comment.

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