The antitrust regulators of South Africa had approved Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s 77 billion-pound of taking over SABMiller Plc, suggesting a one step closer to the completion of the deal.
According to Pretoria-based Competition Tribunal, a change in the timing of the sale of SABMiller’s 9.4 billion-rand shares in South African drinks producer Distell Group Ltd is among the conditions. AB InBev stocks added 2.3 percent and settled at 116.90 euros.
The deal is expected to be accomplished in the second half of the year, the Leuven, Belgium-based firm stated. AB InBev currently has been endorsed in 16 jurisdictions, and will “continue to engage proactively with the relevant authorities” where Budweiser and Stella Artois’ producers need to comply with clearances.
The largest brewer in the world is in search of regulatory approval for the takeover as investors are eyeing on Aug. 12, where London-based SABMiller is planned to pay its dividend. Upon the completion of the deal, AB InBev will receive a payout. The deal is hovered to get further signal from the U.S. Justice Department, including China’s Ministry of Commerce, the sources said.
The European Commission mentioned that AB InBev battles with a European Union antitrust investigation that could avoid cheaper Dutch and French beer being sold in Belgium market.
An analyst at Societe Generale Andrew Holland said, “It’s another tick in the box as they progress to completion,”
“There’s certainly no antitrust or competition reason for any hold-up in China or the U.S.,” he added.
Apparently, analysts have mixed opinions on whether the completion of the deal will prolong before SABMiller pays its dividend.
A founder of Kigoda Consulting company Mike Davies said, “From a South African perspective, the merger decision should allow just enough time to meet the Aug. 12 deadline although the timetable is extremely tight,”
According to Holland, the deal will proceed about three months to accomplish after the acquisition is approved by the last regulator, suggesting that there’s “absolutely no chance” of beating the date.
Shares of SABMiller declined 0.2 percent and settled at 4,332 pence during the session.
In other news, Anheuser-Busch InBev will undergo investigations with the EU antitrust regulators, citing if the company is illegally blocking cheaper imports of its own beer mainly in the Belgium market.
The Commission said in a statement, "AB InBev may be pursuing a deliberate strategy to restrict so-called 'parallel trade' of its beer from less expensive countries, such as the Netherlands and France, to the more expensive Belgian market."
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