US/MEXICO: A-B InBev optimistic on Grupo Modelo dispute
Anheuser-Busch InBev has said that it remains optimistic of winning its dispute with Grupo Modelo, Mexico's largest brewer.
A-B InBev's chief financial officer Felipe Dutra said today (4 March) that he is "very optimistic on the outcome" of the dispute.
However, arbitration proceedings are ongoing and have no deadline, he told analysts in a conference call for A-B Inbev's full-year results.
A-B owned a 50% non-controlling stake in Modelo, but the Mexican brewer has argued that this should not automatically pass to the new A-B InBev conglomerate, formed via InBev's US$52bn takeover of A-B in late 2008.
Speculation has grown that A-B InBev may seek rights to gain full control of Modelo, particularly after Modelo's main rival in Mexico, FEMSA Cerveza, recently sold out to Heineken.
"We continue to admire the company and the business they build," said Dutra today, without being drawn further on the outcome that the Budweiser brewer is seeking.
"Our analysis shows that for both sides it is much more beneficial to create majority control for A-B InBev in Modelo than to continue with arbitration," said Gerard Rijk, of Netherlands-based ING Bank, in a note in January this year.
Is beer good for you? The health benefits and drawbacks of beer have long been studied and debated. But is beer good for your country? Most definitely, conclude Larry Nelson and Frank Zappa....
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