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‘Megabrew’ deal on ice as watchdog delays decision

South Africa’s competition authority has requested an extension of its investigation into the proposed £71 billion merger of brewers SABMiller and AB InBev for a third time.

The deal is on ice as the South African market authority delays its decision for a third time (Photo: Budweiser)

The Competition Commission of South Africa was due today to make its decision on the takeover of SABMiller by Budweiser brewer AB InBev.

However, a spokesperson for the watchdog confirmed yesterday that it would be requesting its decision be pushed back.

It follows an initial 40-day investigation being delayed by 15 days and then a further 10 days.

Itumeleng Lesofe, a spokesperson for the authority, said the issues raised by the merger are proving “complex” and “concerns need to be considered and addressed.”

The competition assessment being carried out in South Africa – where SABMiller has a considerable presence in terms of production and sales – is also taking place in the two brewers’ other major markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

Only once watchdog approval is granted will the merger of the two global brewers, which was announced in November last year, take place.

The subsequent company will be one of the largest consumer product groups in history and will totally dominate the global beer market, controlling around one-third of the world’s beer sales by volume.

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