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US/MEXICO: Grupo Modelo chief coy on Anheuser-Busch InBev buyout - report

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Grupo Modelo's CEO has said that relations with Anheuser-Busch InBev are good, but was noncommittal on takeover talk.

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Carlos Fernandez was quoted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal as saying that he cannot speculate on the position of Modelo's controlling shareholders in relation to a possible future deal with A-B InBev.

When questioned about Modelo's relationship with A-B InBev, Fernandez said: "These are the first stages of getting to know each other and so far it has been very good."

Analysts have speculated that A-B InBev is likely to seek control of Modelo, after the Budweiser brewer last year secured a 50% non-controlling stake in the group. However, relations between the two have not always appeared warm.

Last October, Fernandez was quoted in the local media as saying that the Corona brewer's controlling families had "no desire to sell". A few days later, Modelo confirmed that it had handed distribution of Corona Extra in the UK and Japan to A-B InBev's rival, Molson Coors.


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