Brussels to approve £71bn AB InBev and SABMiller merger, reports claim

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Brussels to approve beer giants merger, reports claim

Related tags: Ab inbev, European union

EU regulators are set to conditionally approve brewing giant AB Inbev's takeover of SABMiller after the companies agreed to sell off a range of their beer brands, reports claim.

Reuters ​reported on Friday (20 May) that, according to its sources, Brussels was prepared to give the merger its blessing as long as the sales of brands including Peroni and Grolsch were completed within half a year of the deal being made.

Regulators will make a final decision on the merger, which will leave AB Inbev in control of approximately one third of the global beer market, next week ahead of next Tuesday's final deadline.

Grolsch and Peroni, as well as popular 'craft' brewer Meantime, were bought by Japanese company Asahi for an undisclosed amount in April having previously offered £1.8bn.  

Kevin Baker, senior consultant at analysts Canadean, told the Publican's Morning Advertiser ​(PMA​) at the time that despite Peroni's success, it would have struggled with positioning in AB Inbev's portfolio, which already included Stella Artois.

AB Inbev also announced plans last month to put regulators' fears to rest by selling SABMiller assets in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia.  

Neither AB InBev nor SABMiller could be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

What could the merger mean for the country's pubs? Read the PMA's ​analysis​.

Related topics: Beer

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