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AmBev takes control of BHL Holdings

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Anheuser-Busch InBev's Brazilian unit, Ambev, has confirmed its purchase of Caribbean beverage producer BHL Holdings after a fraught bidding process.

AmBev was accused of benefitting from a "poison pill" clause

AmBev was accused of benefitting from a "poison pill" clause

The company told just-drinks yesterday it has now acquired 95% of BHL's shares through direct purchases and a tender offer expected to be settled next month. According to local media, AmBev has spent the past month increasing its stake in BHL and passed the 50% mark on 4 December.

The company has also reportedly installed a new management team, with a former AmBev commercial manager, Marcio Juliano, stepping in as chairman. A new board of directors has been nominated.

The takeover follows a protracted battle for control in which BHL investors accused Ambev of benefiting from a "poison pill" clause inserted into a previous agreement with BHL that made the acquisition cheaper for the Brazilian conglomerate compared to rival bidders. Ansa McAl, which was also keen to buy BHL, said the clause raised "serious governance concerns".

BHL is Barbados's largest beverage conglomerate and includes Banks Breweries, Coca-Cola bottler Barbados Bottling Co and Barbados Dairy Industries. Banks Breweries produces around 50m bottles a year and its brands include the flagship Banks Beer, according to the company's website.


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