April 22, 2013
WASHINGTONAnheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has cleared a huge hurdle in its path to acquiring the remaining interest in Grupo Modelo, reaching an agreement with the federal government after a lawsuit was filed to block the $20.1 billion deal.
A final pact includes additional binding commitments, designed in part to ensure AB InBev divests assets to Constellation Brands, Inc., the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday. Under the concessions, Grupo Modelo's Piedras Negras brewery and 50% stake in Crown Imports LLC will be sold to Constellation.
Earlier this year, the DOJ filed suit to block AB InBev's acquisition, citing antitrust concerns that it would decrease competition and raise prices. AB InBev, the Belgium-based owner of more than 200 beer brands including Budweiser, posted 2012 revenues of $39.8 billion.
A federal court on Monday signed the previously announced stipulation and a proposed order.
AB InBev, which already owns roughly half of Grupo Modelo, expects the deal to close in June. With full ownership, the company plans to make Corona one of its flagship brands.
The acquisition of Grupo Modelo for $9.15 per share was announced last year. Grupo Modelo owns more than a dozen brands, including Corona, Pacifico and Negra Modelo.
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