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US: Anheuser-Busch InBev agrees to sell City Beverage stake

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Anheuser-Busch InBev is set to sell its minority interest in its largest US distributor by the end of next year, after striking a deal with authorities in the country.

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The brewer confirmed to just-drinks yesterday (18 April) that it has reached an agreement with officials in Illinois to sell its 30% stake in Chicago's City Beverage. The news comes just five months after a ruling from the Illinois Liquour Control Commission, allowing A-B InBev to retain its share in City Beverage

This had followed a legal battle over A-B InBev's attempts to take full ownership of the distributor, resulting in new laws banning brewers from self-distribution in the state.

But in a statement, Mark Bordas, A-B InBev's regional VP of state affairs said: "Anheuser-Busch is pleased with the agreement reached with the Illinois legislature as it relates to our minority investment in City Beverage, granting the company the ability to divest our interests by January 1, 2015." 

An A-B InBev spokesperson declined to comment further.

According to the Chichago Tribune, the agreement is part of a bill that is expected to clear the Illinois House this week, ending the battle over how alcohol is regulated in the state.


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