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US: Anheuser-Busch finds buyer for City Beverage stake

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The US arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to sell its 30% stake in Chicago distributor City Beverage-Illinois, three years after the brewer attempted to take full control of the firm.

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In a statement on Saturday (2 November), Anheuser-Busch said it has entered an agreement to offload its stake to Hand Family Cos, a Tennessee-based distributor. Earlier this year, A-B struck a deal with authorities to sell its share in City Beverage, one of the country's biggest beer wholesalers, following a lengthy legal battle

In a seperate transaction, private equity group BDT Capital, which holds 70% of City Beverage, has agreed to acquire distributor River North Sales and Service. Once the deal is complete, the River North operations will be merged with City Beverage. 

The new entity will create the largest distributor in Illinois and the Chicago metropolitan area, with annual case sales of around 23.5m, the companies said.

David Almeida, A-B's VP of sales, said: “With the sale of our stake, the City Beverage and River North operations will be combined, creating a strong, competitive and consolidated A-B distributorship in the Chicago market.”

Both deals are expected to complete by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval. Financial details were not disclosed.


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