BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s production ministry said on Wednesday it had approved a proposal from brewer Anheuser Busch InBev NV (ABI.BR) to divest seven of its brands in the country as a condition for its 2016 takeover of SAB Miller.
The $100 billion-plus takeover, which won overwhelming backing from SAB Miller shareholders in 2016, was met with similar conditions by antitrust regulators elsewhere, including the United States and Europe.
As part of the proposal from AB Inbev and Chilean brewer CCU CCU.SN, which has operations in Argentina, AB Inbev would transfer the Isenbeck, Diosa, Norte, Iguana and Baltica brands, as well as the licenses to Warsteiner and Grolsch, to CCU.
In turn, CCU would give the Argentina rights to the Budweiser brand to AB Inbev - which markets the brand globally - in exchange for a payment of up to $400 million over three years.
CCU said in a statement in September it had agreed to cede Budweiser rights to Ambev in exchange for an expected $306 million payment.
The proposal was spurred by an analysis into the SAB Miller deal by the National Competition Defence Commission.
Without the conditions, AB Inbev would have controlled 85 percent of Argentina’s beer market, the production ministry said. AB Inbev also controls Quilmes, the South American country’s most popular brand of beer.
Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Diane Craft