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AB InBev agrees to R1bn fund for SABMiller deal

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Johannesburg - Anheuser-Busch InBev NV agreed to create a R1bn ($69m) fund that will support the South African beer industry and protect jobs in the country to smooth approval for its proposed $105bn takeover of SABMiller.

The deal struck between the Budweiser maker and the South African government includes a pledge to preserve its full-time employment levels in the country for five years after the deal closes and to not make any involuntary job cuts, Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev said in a statement on Thursday. It also includes financial help for new farms to produce raw materials like hops and barley for the combined company.

“This transaction is by far the largest yet to be considered by the competition authorities and it’s important that South Africans know that the takeover of a local iconic company will bring tangible benefits,” the country’s Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said in the statement. “Jobs and inclusive growth are the central concerns in our economy.”

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