US: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Constellation Brands in talks with DoJ over Grupo Modelo buy
A-B InBev is bidding to take control of Grupo Modelo, but faces a delay
Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands are conferring with the US authorities over the Grupo Modelo deal, with all parties aiming to delay legal proceedings in the anti-trust case until next month.
The two companies said late yesterday (20 February) that they are “engaged in discussions” with the Department of Justice (DoJ), along with Grupo Modelo, in a bid to resolve issues over the US$20.1bn deal. Last month, the DoJ filed an anti-trust lawsuit against A-B InBev's proposed acquisition of Modelo over concerns the move would lessen competiton in the US beer market and inflate prices.
But, A-B InBev and Constellation said in separate statements yesterday that, along with the DoJ, they will ask the court for a halt in all legal proceedings until 19 March.
Earlier this month, Constellation applied to be involved in the high-profile case. The company is set to take full control of its US JV with Modelo once A-B InBev completes its takeover.
Both companies said there are no guarantees the discussions with the DoJ will be “successful”, but Constellation added that it “believes that the revised transaction resolves the concerns raised in the DoJ's complaint”.
Both Constellation and A-B InBev have previously spoken out against the lawsuit.
In a bid to satisfy concerns A-B InBev last week announced a string of concessions, including the sale of Modelo's Piedras Negras brewery and the US rights to all the Mexican brewer's brands in perpuity to Constellation.
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