Japanese brewer Asahi has moved a step closer to completing the purchase of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime from AB InBev.
In a statement, the company said that it had made a "final binding offer" of €2.55 billion and that AB InBev had agreed to a period of exclusivity while the forthcoming consultation processes are ongoing.
At present, the three target businesses are still technically assets of SABMiller and their purchase cannot be finalised until AB InBev completes its $107 billion takeover of SABMiller. That takeover was agreed last October, but it is currently held up as it awaits antitrust approval.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
The sale of these three brands, coupled with the sale of SAB’s majority stake in MillerCoors, is expected to help AB InBev win that approval. Only then can all of these acquisitions officially go through.
Asahi said that the purchase is part of the company’s 'Long-Term Vision', as it seeks to maintain domestic profit levels while using its international business to drive growth.
In the statement, the company praised Grolsch and Peroni as "two of the best-known premium beer brands in the world with over 400 years and 150 years of history, respectively" and upheld Meantime as a "pioneer brand in craft beer" in the UK.
Given that the transaction will go through when AB InBev completes the purchase of SABMiller, Asahi refused to make predictions on how it will affect its financial performance this year.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Brian Dermody. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.