The beer brands Meantime, Peroni and Grolsch could be sold to pave the way for Belgian superbrewer AB InBev’s £72bn takeover of rival SABMiller.
SABMiller has confirmed rumours from earlier this week about the possible sale of its leading beer brands Peroni and Grolsch. But it also said London-based Meantime was one of the labels AB InBev is considering selling.
The Greenwich company behind London Pale Ale and Yakima Red was only purchased by SAB Miller in May, as the drinks giant sought a way into the growing craft beer sector. SABMiller said the possible disposals of the brands and their related businesses in Italy, the Netherlands and UK, is in line with AB InBev’s “commitment to promptly and proactively address potential regulatory considerations”.
It comes after SABMiller’s board approved the merger in October and the two sides shook hands on an unprecedented $3bn (£2bn) “break fee” – payable by ABInBev if the deal fails to close. AB InBev is paying £44 per share for SABMiller.
Combined, the companies would be a powerhouse that would be responsible for one in three beers sold around the world.
Since then, it has been agreed that SABMiller’s majority-stake in US venture MillerCoors will be sold to venture partner Molson Coors for $12bn.
“Like the previously announced disposal of the Miller business to Molson Coors, these steps reflect AB InBev’s pro-active approach to addressing potential regulatory concerns,” AB InBev said.
The company added that it will contact potential purchasers in the coming weeks to assess their interest. Any sale would be conditional on the takeover completing.
Alan Clark, SABMiller’s chief executive said: “Until the change of control we will continue to invest in growing these great beers and supporting our talented people who brew, sell and manage them.”
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