AB InBev offers to sell beer brands for early approval from European regulators

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian-based brewer told European competition regulators it would sell beer brands including Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to win early approval for the takeover of its rival, SABMiller.

The brewer has already made a deal to dispose-off the brands to Asahi Group Holdings of Japan. The tactic is meant to prevent a possible lengthy investigation by European regulators that could drag out for months and throw-off the global timetable the brewer has set to finalize the deal.

“This proposal concerns the European premium brand families of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, U.K. and internationally, excluding certain U.S. rights,” the brewer said in a released statement.

European Union Anti-trust regulators said they would now decide by May 24th whether to approve the merger or open a longer investigation, the commission said on its website on Tuesday. The regulators did not say what the companies have to do to allay any anti-trust concerns.

The Anti-Trust Commission will seek opinion from AB InBev rivals and other third parties before making a decision whether to approve the deal.

The merger would allow AB InBev to expand into new markets in Latin America and Africa, regions that hold growth opportunities for the brewer.

AB InBev is also selling stakes in U.S. joint-venture MillerCoors to Molsen Coors Brewing and SABMiller’s stake in CR Snow joint-venture to China Resources Beer to address competition concerns in other regions.

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