CHILE: Anheuser may sell CCU stake
The US beer giant Anheuser-Busch may sell its 20% stake in Chile's largest brewer Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU), according to a CCU filing with the Santiago stock exchange.
The statement said: "In an extraordinary meeting held March 16, the board agreed that the administration of CCU would support Anheuser-Busch in executing an eventual secondary offering in shares ... of CCU".
However, any possible sale will not affect CCU's contract to distribute the Budweiser brand in Chile and Argentina, CCU said.
Market analysts have been wondering what A-B would do with its stake in CCU since Dutch brewer Heineken indirectly bought a controlling stake in the company.
Anheuser protested against the acquisition by its Dutch rival at the time to Chile's stock market regulator. A-B claimed Heineken should have made a public offer for shares, saying it was unfair that it grabbed such a large stake indirectly via another major shareholder.
But the Anheuser lost its case.
CCU is 61.6% owned by holding company Inversiones y Renta, or IRSA, in which Chile's Quinenco owns 50% and Heineken has 50% stake.
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