InBev has distanced itself from a row among shareholders at AmBev majority-owned brewer Quinsa.

Minority shareholders at the South American brewer are set to take legal action against AmBev, the Brazilian arm of InBev.

Belgian paper de Tijd said today (25 October) that the shareholders believe that, when AmBev bought a stake from Beverage Associates in August - thereby upping its interest in Quinsa to 91.18% from 56.72% - they should have been offered the same deal. AmBev bought the stake at a 36% premium to Quinsa's stock price at the time.

InBev has said that it will discuss the position of Quinsa's minority shareholders through its representatives on the AmBev board.

"InBev does not deny that it is the controlling shareholder of AmBev, and hence indirectly Quinsa, and therefore that it has a role to play in this matter," the brewer said. "However, in light of AmBev's and Quinsa's separate ownership structures (including minority shareholders) and listing, it is sound corporate governance that decisions relating to Quinsa be taken by the appropriate bodies, i.e. the boards of AmBev and Quinsa."

"Due to the public company status of Quinsa, AmBev and InBev, we cannot elaborate on whether or not, and, if so, at what time and on what terms, AmBev may consider further actions in relation to Quinsa's minority shareholders," InBev added.