10 months ago by Bob Gough
AB InBev may have to divest other brands in the U.S. to avoid a court fight over a proposed full takeover of Mexico City-based Modelo
Pabst Brewing Co. would look into buying Michelob from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV should the brand be divested to settle a U.S. antitrust lawsuit to block the $20.1 billion takeover of the rest of Grupo Modelo SAB.
“We would consider the opportunity if it became available,” Daren Metropoulos, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Pabst, said today in an e-mail. “It’s premature to reach out” to AB InBev “right now. But we certainly like the Michelob brand.”
The U.S. Department of Justice argued in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington last week that AB InBev’s Modelo transaction would violate antitrust law by eliminating the “substantial head-to-head competition” between the companies.
AB InBev may have to divest brands, including Michelob, in the U.S. to avoid a court fight over a proposed full takeover of Mexico City-based Modelo, Anthony Bucalo, an analyst for Banco Santander SA in London, said in an October note.
Marianne Amssoms, a spokeswoman for Leuven, Belgium, AB InBev, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and telephone call seeking comment.