By Andy Young

Anheuser-Busch InBev is considering a stock market launch of Carlton and United Breweries, which is currently owned by the newly-acquired SABMiller, according to The Australian newspaper.

The newspaper claims the move is one of many discussions happening at AB InBev since it agreed to buy SABMiller in October. It adds that AB InBev views the Australian market as "non-core" to its global brewing operations and that as a result an IPO is up for consideration.

A spokesperson for AB InBev told The Australian: "AB InBev will work with SABMiller and the relevant authorities in seeking to bring all potential regulatory reviews to a timely and appropriate resolution.

"And of course, substantial thought was given to the regulatory implications of our proposal to acquire SABMiller and we have conducted detailed analysis in this regard."

The move to the ASX would mean that CUB would be one of the few publicly listed brewers in Australia, and certainly the largest, which could be popular among retail investors. 

An industry insider told TheShout: "An IPO would be a good way for the newly-formed mega brewery to get around any regulatory concerns in Australia. If AB InBev does indeed see Australia as non-core to its global business then this is a logical move. It won't want to wait for a private purchase and so returning CUB to the stock exchange makes sense."

The merger of AB InBev and SABMiller will see a new company formed, which will be called Newco. As Newco looks to avoid regulatory concerns in markets around the world it is considering different brand sell-offs. Molson Coors has confirmed it will buy SABMiller's 58 per cent stake in MillerCoors, taking full ownership of the joint venture. Reports also claim that AB InBev is also considering the sale of European brands Peroni and Grolsch as it tries to push the merger past EU regulators. 

SABMiller is also expected to sell its stake in CR Snow, a joint venture with China Resources Enterprise, which produces the world's biggest-selling beer, Snow Beer.

TheShout contacted CUB, but received no comment by the time of publication.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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