South Africa’s Competition Commission has approved the merger between beer giants AB InBev and SABMiller subject to a range of conditions which have been designed to address both public interest and competition concerns arising from the move.

The conditions are for the most part similar to those proposed by the Competition Commission in its recommendation and those contained in an earlier agreement between the merging parties and three government ministries, Economic Development, Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

However, the conditions have been changed in some respects as a result of submissions which tribunal received from third parties in the course of hearings held last week.

Commission spokesperson Itumeleng Lesofe said here Thursday that workers and farmers would not be disadvantaged by the merger.

“One of the conditions which the commission proposed was that there should not be retrenchments as a result of the merger. The Tribunal has agreed with us. The Tribunal orders also include a fund of one-billion rand, and part of the fund will be used to develop the agricultural sector.”

The takeover will give the AB InBev, the Belgium-based maker of Budweiser,Corona and Stella Artois beers a third of the global beer market,selling twice as much as its nearest rival, Heineken.

AB InBev shares were suspended before the announcement. SABMiller was formed after the former South African Breweries acquired Miller Brewing of the United States in 2002 and trasbferred its primary stock exchange listing to London.

Source: Nam News Network

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