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AB InBev gets EU nod for SABMiller deal after brands sale

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Paris - Anheuser-Busch InBev [JSE:ANB] won European Union approval for its R1.657trn takeover of SABMiller [JSE:SAB] after agreeing to offload brands to allay antitrust concerns over a deal to combine the world’s two biggest brewers.

The European Commission said on Tuesday that the proposed sale of SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime beer brands to Asahi Group Holdings as well as the divestment of Pilsner Urquell and other brands in central and eastern Europe will ensure “EU consumers aren’t worse off.”

“Europeans buy around €125bn (R2.17trn) of beer every year, so even a relatively small price increase could cause considerable harm to consumers,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

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