Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) is in the midst of selling the assets it agreed to shed in order to convince regulators to sign off on its $100 billion acquisition of SABMiller. The brewer said Thursday it was selling its ownership stake in Distell Group, a South African distiller of wine, spirits, and ciders, to the state-owned pension fund Public Investment for $645 million.
On Tuesday, A-B InBev sold a portfolio of Central and Eastern European brands to Japan's Asahi Group for $7.8 billion. Among the brands included were Pilsner Urquell, Kozel, and Tyskie. In February, Asahi agreed to buy Italy's Peroni and The Netherlands' Grolsch from A-B for $2.9 billion, as well as some European Miller operations.
Other agreements made by the brewer to get its merger over the antitrust hurdles of various countries included selling Miller's 59% stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) for $12 billion, and Miller's 49% position in the world's best-selling beer Snow to its former joint venture partner, China Resources Beers, for $1.6 billion.
Even after all of the divestitures, the combined brewer remains a beer industry behemoth accounting for almost 30% of global beer sales, and 46% of global beer profits. Runner up Heineken will be a distant second place with an 11% share of the market.
In the U.S. A-B InBev will retain its 44% share of the beer market, but Molson Coors now has a 25% slice of the market.
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