InBev must sell its Labatt USA beer business in order to complete the US$52bn takeover of Anheuser-Busch, the US competition regulator has said.

InBev said on Friday evening (14 November) that it has agreed to sell Labatt USA to keep its deal for Anheuser on track.

Labatt USA sells 1.7m hectolitres of the Labatt beer brand in the US annually, and is the main competitor to A-B's Budweiser brand in the state of New York.

InBev said that the impact on earnings of the enforced disposal "is not material". It added that the agreement with the US Justice Department only affected Labatt branded beer in the US.

Under the terms of the deal, the licence to market, sell and distribute Labatt will be handed to a third party. A number of craft brewers, including Boston Beer Co, have been touted as potential suitors.

Labatt Brewing Company, based in Canada and partially owned by InBev, will continue to brew and supply Labatt beer to the US licence holder for a minimum of three years.

InBev said of its A-B takeover. "A closing date has not yet been announced, but InBev expects to complete the transaction as soon as practicable."