AB Inbev to sell Peroni and Grolsch
AB Inbev is putting its Peroni and Grolsch brands up for sale as part of efforts to receive regulatory approval for its £71 billion merger with rival brewer SABMiller.
The sale is being viewed as an attempt to appease EU market regulators worried that the merger will create a company that monopolizes the beer market.
AB Inbev has already briefed its legal advisers about the sale, sources have told The Times.
Heineken and Molson Coors are likely to be the front-running potential buyers of the popular Italian and Dutch beer brands, which were under the ownership of SABMiller before the merger with AB Inbev was agreed on 11 November.
SABMiller has already agreed to part company with Molson Coors, selling its stake in their joint US venture MillerCoors in an £8bn deal in mid-November. US rights over the Peroni and Grolsch brands were passed over to Molson as part of the sell-off.
The deal shows the desire of AB Inbev CEO Carlos Britto to not run in to any snags on the way to the industry-changing SABMiller takeover.
The new global brewer, currently named Newco for banking purposes while the merger takes place, is expected to dominate the beer market.
It is thought that even after the divestment of some of its brands, it will be behind one in three beer purchases globally.
AB Inbev has not yet commented on the sale.