Beermakers aim to clear regulatory hurdles

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the company that makes Budweiser, laid out plans Wednesday to clear regulatory hurdles in its bid to form a “truly global brewer” with chief rival SABMiller.

The world's two largest beer companies say they have reached an agreement following the framework for the deal they announced last month.

Before AB InBev completes the nearly $108 billion takeover, SABMiller would sell its U.S. operations to address antitrust concerns about the merger of the world’s two largest beer companies.

SABMiller would sell its 58 percent stake in the MillerCoors joint venture to Molson Coors for about $12 billion. The move is aimed at appeasing regulators and would make Molson Coors the second-largest brewer in the U.S.

“We have a deep passion for and understanding of the MillerCoors brands, strategy and culture and believe this transaction is the ideal outcome for this business,” Mark Hunter, president of Molson Coors, said in a statement.

This would also clear the way for Anheuser-Busch to expand it’s global footprint, particularly in Africa and South America, where SABMiller has a strong presence.

“We are excited to create a truly global brewer and one of the world’s leading consumer products companies, drawing on a similar heritage and shared passion for brewing and commitment to quality,” AB InBev wrote in a letter to Congress.

“As you know, the beer market within the U.S. is already highly competitive and offers a variety of choice to consumers,” the letter continued. "Craft brewers are growing rapidly, and the beer industry faces ever-increasing competition from wine and spirits. Nothing in these agreements will lessen that competition.”

Anheuser-Busch would acquire a number of SABMiller brands outside the U.S., such as Peroni and Pilsner Urquell, which could help the company expand into new international markets.

“Looking beyond the U.S., the combined company will extend the global reach of AB InBev’s iconic American brands, such as Budweiser, to more markets around the world,” the company wrote.