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AB InBev to sell Distell stake to pension fund

Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to sell SABMiller’s 26% stake in South African drinks group Distell to a state-run pension fund.

AB InBev was ordered to sell SABMiller’s shares in Amarula producer Distell by South Africa’s Competition Commission

In June this year, South Africa’s Competition Commission approved AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller provided the latter firm’s stake in Amarula and Three Ships Whisky producer Distell was put up for sale.

SABMiller’s shareholding is estimated to be worth US$559 million.

Yesterday, AB InBev announced it had entered into a “binding agreement” to sell the 58.5m ordinary shares to Africa’s largest pension administrator Public Investment Corporation on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund.

The sale remains subject to the approval of the South African competition authorities and AB InBev will provide further updates in due course.

Standard Bank and Deutsche Bank are jointly advising AB InBev over the transaction.

Belgium-based AB InBev formally completed its US$79 billion acquisition of SABMiller in October – marking the biggest merger in drinks industry history.

The Spirits Business has approached Distell to comment on the shareholding divestment.

Distell announced solid sales and profit gains in its full-year 2015/16 results, adding that the group is now “well placed to expand into growth markets outside of Southern Africa”.

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