AB InBev, Anadolu Efes to combine operations in Russia, Ukraine

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Anadolu Efes, Turkey’s largest brewer announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to merge their businesses in Russia and Ukraine as part of an effort to bolster their businesses in a slowing market.

The Russian market which was once embraced by big international brewers has declined in recent years due to a weak economy, international sanctions and government regulation to curb drinking by raising taxes and limiting sales.

AB InBev which holds a 24% stake in Anadolu Efes through its acquisition of SABMiller last year announced the non-binding transaction on Wednesday without disclosing the financial terms of the deal.

Both companies will hold a 50-50 stake in the combined company which would be called AB InBev-Efes and will be consolidated in the financial accounts of Efes. AB InBev said it will treat the business as an equity stake.

The merger will make AB InBev-Efes the second largest brewer in Russia with 20% market share behind Carlsberg which holds 31% market share. AB InBev held a 12% share of the Russian market prior to the announcement, while Efes had 8.5% and Heineken 11.1%, according to Euromonitor.

Updated: Wednesday, 9th August 1:21PM

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