US: Anheuser-Busch InBev, DoJ ask court for more time on Modelo deal
The deal is set for another delay, but the companies are sounding positive anti-trust concerns can be resolved
Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands say they have made "substantial progress" over their negotiations with US authorities on the Grupo Modelo deal, but have asked a court for more time for discussions.
The companies have requested that the anti-trust lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ), be delayed until April 9. Under a previously extended timetable, proceedings are due to start tomorrow (19 March).
The deal, first announced in June, would see A-B InBev buy the remaining slice of Grupo Modelo that it does not alrady own for US$20.1bn, while Constellation Brands would take full control of Crown Imports, a JV it currently operates with the Mexican brewer. Under concessions put forward by A-B InBev last month, Constellation will also take over Modelo's brewery in Piedras Negras, Mexico and have the US brand rights to the Mexican brewer's brands in perpetuity.
A-B InBev and Constellation said in separate statements on Friday (15 March) that if another delay is agreed by the court it will "likely enable the parties to complete their discussions".
Analysts Stifel said it expects the district court in Washington, where the anti-trust lawsuit was filed, to grant the extension.
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