After a long negotiation process where the Union of the Brewing Industry of Panama (STICP) had to call a strike and get to arbitration, finally last April, STICP won its fight for collective agreement which will be valid for three years. The negotiation process also involved the IUF-affiliated Industrial Workers Union of Manufacturing and Marketing of Refreshments Drinks, Sodas, Beers, Spirits & Related products (Sintrafcorebgacelis).

Heineken International has signed a joint venture agreement with Philippines-based Asia Brewery as it looks to drive premiumisation in the region.

Asia Brewery is owned by LT Group. Under the JV agreement, a new company - AB Heineken Philippines - will be formed. Financial details were not disclosed.

Canada is the latest country to approve Anheuser-Busch InBev's takeover of SABMiller, as well as Molson Coors' proposed buyout of SAB's stake in the MillerCoors joint-venture in North America.

The country's Competition Bureau said on May 31, 2016 that it has issued a "No-Action Letter" to AB InBev and Molson Coors. Once complete, AB InBev will take ownership of SAB's Foster's Lager and Castle Lager brands in Canada, with Molson Coors set to purchase the rights to various Miller brands, including Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite.

South Africa's Competition Commission has approved Anheuser-Busch InBev's takeover of SABMiller, provided the merged entity sells SAB's stake in Distell.

In recommending the merger to the country's Competition Tribunal, the commission attached several conditions to the acquisition. As well as the divestment of the 30% stake in Distell, AB InBev will be required to keep SAB's Coca-Cola bottling operations in South Africa separate from its Pepsi bottling footprint in other markets.

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The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of SABMiller, the world's second largest brewer, by AB InBev, the world's largest brewer. The clearance is conditional on AB InBev selling practically the entire SABMiller beer business in Europe.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: "Today's decision will ensure that competition is not weakened in these markets and that EU consumers are not worse off. Europeans buy around 125 billion euros of beer every year, so even a relatively small price increase could cause considerable harm to consumers. It was therefore very important to ensure that AB InBev's takeover of SABMiller did not reduce competition on European beer markets."

The European Union has approved Anheuser-Busch InBev's US$107bn takeover of SABMiller.

The two companies said on May 24 2016 that clearance from the EU's executive body, the European Commission, represents a "significant milestone" in the deal. The news moves AB InBev closer to its ambition to close the transaction in the second half of this year.

Heineken's senior management team has been in Vietnam this week for the company's annual Financial Markets Conference. CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer called the country the "poster child" for international beer thanks to its strong demographics and growing demand. The company is also bullish about its prospects in Asia-Pacific. Here's a snapshot of Heineken's current position in the region and how the market is developing :

Asia-Pacific stats

More than half (54%) of the population is under 35. In Europe, the figure stands ar only 40%

Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to transfer SABMiller’s Panamanian business to Ambev. In exchange, Ambev will transfer to AB InBev its business in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

Read more here: http://www.beveragedaily.com/Manufacturers/AB-InBev-to-transfer-SABMille...

To focus on SABMiller brands already agreed to buy

* Looking for acquisition opportunities globally

* Can take up to $2.7 bln new debt to fund future acquisitions

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd will not bid for the Eastern European assets that SABMiller PLC is selling to appease anti-monopoly regulators, the president of Japan's biggest brewer said.