AB InBev considers SAB Miller disposals to meet competition requirements
Regulatory concerns about its agreed £71 billion merger with SABMiller are forcing AB InBev to sell its Peroni and Grolsch businesses, according to reports.
The Belgium-based multinational has already announced the £8 billion sale of SAB Miller’s 58% controlling interest in its US Miller Coors joint venture with Molson Coors.
The disposal was intended to forestall potential competition problems in the US, where otherwise AB InBev and SAB Miller would control some 70% of the beer market.
US distribution rights to Peroni and Grolsch passed to Molson Coors as part of the deal.
Likely bidders for the two European beer brands include family-owned Dutch brewer, Heineken, and former SAB Miller partner, Molson Coors.
Peroni is the UK’s most popular world beer,.
AB InBev is also said to be considering an IPO for SAB Miller’s Australian brewery Carlton & United, which produces the iconic Fosters, Strongbow and Bulmer’s brands, among others.
Carlton & United distributes Grolsch and Peroni in Australia.
AB InBev is expected to sell SAB Miller’s stake in China’s largest brewer CR Snow, a joint venture with China Resources Enterprise, to stop regulatory problems halting the merger there.
In related news, global drinks giant Diageo has pulled out of several beer-related joint ventures in Africa.
It has sold its interests in Diageo Heineken Drinks, Namibia Breweries and South Africa’s Sedibeng brewery to Heineken for some £117 million.