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PANAMA: Bavaria abandons Baru takeover

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The Colombian brewing group, Bavaria, has announced that it has formally given up its attempt to buy Panama's second largest brewer, Cervecerias Baru Panama SA.

The group seemingly had little option but to throw in the towel following the decision by Panama's Free Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission to reject Bavaria's appeal to the block put on the deal in May.

The regulator had originally ruled that the Bavaria takeover would inhibit competition and would cost Panamanian consumers up to US$23m a year in higher beer prices. Bavaria was planning to combine the Panamanian brewer, Cerveceria Nacional, which it already owns and which has around 70% of the country's beer market, with Baru-Panama, which controls the other 30%, effectively creating a beer monopoly.

However, Bavaria said it would continue to follow its international development strategy. The company is aiming to increase foreign revenues to around 50% of its total income from the present level of 23%.


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