By Andy Young
The latest regulatory deadline in the on-going saga that is AB InBev’s proposed takeover of SABMiller has now been set.
The European Commission’s competition regulator said on Tuesday that it has set a provisional deadline of 24 May to give its verdict on the proposed takeover.
AB InBev has already stated that it plans to sell some of SABMiller’s European brands in an effort to allay regulatory concerns. The company has reached a provisional deal with Asahi over the sale of the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands. That deal will only go through if AB InBev is successful in taking over SABMiller.
In a statement AB InBev said: "This proposal concerns the European premium brand families of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, UK and internationally, excluding certain US rights.”
Trevor Stirling, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein told Bloomberg that he would be surprised if the European regulators did not approve the takeover, given the deal that is in place for SABMiller’s European brands.
“I’m at a loss as to what remedies AB InBev can offer in terms of further divestments,” Stirling told the news agency.
Last week TheShout reported that regulators in South Africa had sought an extension in their review of the deal, raising “concerns” about certain aspects of the takeover.
Meanwhile AB InBev has announced that it has added to its growing list of craft beer brands with the purchase of Virginia-based brewer Devils Backbone. “While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy,” Devils Backbone co-founder and chief executive Steve Crandall said.