Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world's largest brewer, intends to sell the Eastern European brewing assets of SABMiller to secure regulatory approval for its $100 billion-plus takeover of its rival.

AB InBev has already lined up Japan's Asahi Group Holdings to buy SABMiller's Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime brands for 2.55 billion euros ($2.90 billion) and said on Friday that it has put up for sale SABMiller's activities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world's largest brewer which is set to buy nearest rival SABMiller, believes future acquisitions are more likely to be in beer rather than branching out into other beverages, its chief executive said.

Analysts and investors are already speculating on AB InBev's next potential target -- with possibilities ranging from spirits company Diageo, unlisted French wine and beer group Castel, which has a large African presence, and Coca-Cola .

Heineken N.V. announced its trading update for the first quarter of 2016.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Consolidated beer volume grew 7.0% organically, positive across all regions
Heineken® volume in the premium segment grew 4.8%

The first quarter is seasonally less significant in terms of both volume and profit to full year HEINEKEN group results.

CEO STATEMENT

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO, commented:

Anheuser-Busch InBev has accepted Asahi's offer to acquire SABMiller's European premium brands, as it moves closer to completing its acquisition of SAB.

AB InBev, which put the SABMiller-owned brands up for sale last year after it secured the takeover of the UK-headquartered company, said on April 19 that it has agreed to Asahi's EUR2.55bn (US$2.87bn) offer for the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime "brand families" and associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and internationally. The Japanese group's offer was first announced in February.

Anheuser-Busch InBev will invest 1 billion rand ($69 million) to support small South African farmers as part of concessions agreed with the government to secure regulatory approval for its $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller.

The world's biggest brewer said the concessions, which also include a five-year freeze on layoffs, were agreed with the South African Ministry of Economic Development.

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A conflict at Cerveceria Nacional SA, owned by SABMiller in Panama led to a general strike that stopped the production and distribution at the British-South African transnational for 18 days in July 2015.

The IUF affiliated Sitrafcorebgascelis requested an arbitration process at the local labour court and submitted its arguments before the court. Alejandro John, General Secretary of Sitrafcorebgascelis told that the union is still waiting for the arbitration tribunal to end and deliver the collective agreement.

After almost 17 months of negotiations for a new collective agreement between the IUF-affiliated Union of Workers of the Beverage Industry (STIBYS) and Cervecería Hondureña SA, owned by SABMiller transnational, recently acquired by the Belgian-Brazilian AB InBev beer giant, workers reported a worrying upturn of outsourcing in the company.

Molson Coors has completed the sale of its Vancouver Brewery, to real estate investment firm Concord Pacific.

The CAD185m (US$144.5m) deal was finalized at the end of March. A spokesperson for Molson Coors told that a "major portion" of the proceeds would be re-invested in a new brewery in the country.

"Molson Coors continues to pursue a location to build a new brewery in British Columbia," the spokesperson said. "Once a new site is found, Molson Coors expects to have a new brewery built and commissioned for operation by the end of 2018."

The European Commission (EC) has confirmed an initial deadline for its review of Anheuser-Busch InBev's proposed US$104.2bn takeover of SABMiller.

The EC, which is the executive body of the European Union, has confirmed a "provisional deadline" of 24 May. In official documents, published late last week, the EC said it received notification of the deal on 30 March.