Anheuser-Busch, SABMiller’s $107B Merger Passes Major Hurdle, Gains European Approval

Image courtesy of Paul Kanterman

When you’re trying to combine a Belgian-Brazilian beer giant (that loves to pass itself off as American) with a huge London-based beer company whose roots trace back to South Africa and Wisconsin, you’re going to need to shed some overlapping businesses to get all the approvals you need. It looks like Anheuser-Busch’s plan to sell off some SABMiller brands overseas has helped gain approval from European Union regulators who have given the green light to the $107 billion merger of the two companies.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union gave its blessing to the beer behemoths as long as AB InBev continues to shed more of SABMiller’s European assets.

“Today’s decision will ensure that competition isn’t weakened in these markets and that EU consumers are not worse off,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said.

So far, ABInBev has agreed to sell the Peroni and Grolsch brands to Japan’s Asahi Group for $2.9 billion.

It also pledged to sell SABMiller’s eastern European business in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia for $8 billion. However, the company has yet to announce a buyer for those assets, which include brands like Pilsner Urquell in Czech Republic and Dreher in Hungary.

By selling off SABMiller’s assets, AB InBev will continue to have a small presence in Europe.

The betrothed companies previously reached a deal to sell SABMiller’s stake in the Miller/Coors brand to Molson Coors for $12 billion. The massive deal between the companies must still receive regulatory approval in the U.S. among other areas.

Here’s a look at the brands that are currently being sold off to pave the way for the merger:

Brand Owner Buyer Price
Miller/Coors SABMiller Molson Coors $12 Billion
CR Snow (Chinese brand) SABMiller China Resources $1.6 Billion
Peroni, Grolsch, & Other European Brands SABMiller Asahi Group $2.9 Billion
Eastern European Brands (Pilsner Urquell, Dreher, and others) SABMiler To Be Determined ~$8 billion

EU Clears AB InBev’s $108 Billion SABMiller Takeover [The Wall Street Journal]