SABMiller and A-B InBev shareholders approve combination

Brewers plan to complete mega merger Oct. 10

MillerCoors Milwaukee brewery
The MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:24 pm

Brussels-based Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s $100 billion-plus plan to acquire Miller brewer SABMiller PLC has been approved by both companies’ shareholders, paving the way for the transaction to close.

MillerCoors Milwaukee brewery
The MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee.

The mega brewers said they expect the deal to close Oct. 10. Once combined, they will brew about one-third of the world’s beer.

More than 95 percent of SABMiller shareholders approved the transaction early this morning in Brussels, which far surpassed the 75 percent required support.

“We are pleased that our shareholders’ vote brings us one step closer to combining our companies, teams, strong heritage and passion for brewing,” said Carlos Brito, chief executive officer of A-B InBev. “We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders.”

The combined company will keep the A-B InBev name. SABMiller stock will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange on Oct. 6.

As part of this transaction, SABMiller will sell its ownership stake in MillerCoors, which has a significant Milwaukee presence.

To help win regulatory approval, SABMiller has agreed to sell its 58 percent stake in the joint venture to Denver-based Molson Coors for $12 billion. MillerCoors expects the deal to be completed in the second half of the year.

The Chicago-based joint venture of Molson Coors and SABMiller has more than 1,200 employees and brews about 10 million barrels of its beer annually in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley. It also brews Leinenkugel’s and specialty beer at its 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee.

MillerCoors plans to keep its name and Chicago headquarters in the transaction.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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