Cape Town – The final countdown has started for China and the US to approve Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev’s R1.5trn takeover of SABMiller, with South Africa ticking off the latest box on Thursday.
China and the US are very close to giving approval, with AB InBev offloading SABMiller's Miller brands in the US and Snow in China.
AB InBev [JSE:ANB] has now obtained approval in 16 jurisdictions, the company said on Thursday in a statement. Approval in Ecuador is subject to certain conditions.
“Clearance decisions, with or without conditions, have now been obtained: in Asia-Pacific (Australia, India and South Korea); in Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia); in Europe (the EU, Albania, Turkey and Ukraine); and in Latin America (Chile, Colombia and Mexico).
“In the remaining jurisdictions where regulatory clearance is still pending, AB InBev will continue to engage proactively with the relevant authorities to obtain the necessary clearances as quickly as possible.”
This follows the announcement by South Africa’s Competition Tribunal, which approved the deal with conditions that were mostly similar to the ones agreed to by the Competition Commission and South Africa’s government.
AB InBev said on Thursday that it is pleased it had approved with conditions its proposed combination with SABMiller [JSE:SAB].
“The Competition Tribunal's approval represents the conclusion of the merger approval process in South Africa and confirms that AB InBev is well on track to close the combination in the second half of 2016,” the company said.
Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, said: "We are delighted by the Competition Tribunal's decision to approve our proposed combination with SABMiller in South Africa, a market that would play a critical role in the combined company.
“We recognise South African Breweries' important contribution to the country's economy and society and look forward to building on this through the commitments we have made on jobs and employment, localisation of inputs and production, support for small suppliers and the promotion of black economic empowerment."