ABInBev might not assume control of SABMiller until May 2017

ABInBev might not assume control of SABMiller until May 2017

Completion of Anheuser-Busch InBev's purchase of SABMiller could take as long as 18 months, just-drinks has learnt.

Last week, AB InBev received the go-ahead from SABMiller's board for its US$107bn-takeover of the UK-headquartered company. At the time, the two brewers said the purchase would complete in the second half of 2016.

However, SABMiller has confirmed to just-drinks that, in the finer detail of last week's announcement, it says that it could be May 2017 or beyond before A-B InBev takes contol.

SABMiller said that the pair agreed "a final deadline for change of control in May 2017, which they could agree to extend further if necessary". The firm put the long deadline down to the uncertainty of the timing of regulatory approvals across global markets.

Although the sale of SABMiller's stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors will likely appease US anti-trust authorities, many have suggested there will be snags in other markets.

Earlier this week, SABMiller's Canadian division released a statement to assure customers that the company would maintain its competitive pace until the transaction closes. "SABMiller, A-B InBev and MolsonCoors remain competitors," the unit said yesterday.

For just-drinks' full coverage of AB InBev's pursuit of SABMiller, click here