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23 November 2016

Sayenko Kharenko – legal counsel on obtaining merger clearance for the biggest merger in brewing history

The Sayenko Kharenko antitrust team has provided legal assistance to obtain merger clearance from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) for the GBP 79 billion merger of the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (AB InBev) with its closest rival SABMiller plc (SABMiller). Following completion of the merger, the combined group will retain the name Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V.

The combined company will have operations in virtually every major beer market and an expanded portfolio that includes global, multi-country, and local brands, providing more choices for consumers around the world. AB InBev will benefit from a geographically diversified platform, with a stronger presence in key emerging regions with attractive growth prospects, such as Africa and Latin America.

AB InBev is a publicly traded company based in Leuven, Belgium. The company’s diverse portfolio of well over 400 beer brands includes global brands Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois; multi-country brands Beck's, Hoegaarden, and Leffe; and local champions such as Chernihivske, Rogan and Yantar. AB InBev’s brewing heritage dates back more than 600 years, spanning continents and generations. The company employs approximately 200,000 people in more than 50 countries worldwide. AB InBev sells its beers in over 100 markets. Ukraine is an important market for AB InBev. With well over 2300 people working across operations in Ukraine, it is home to three AB InBev breweries as well as a local HQ and a Business Service Centre.

SABMiller is a multinational brewing and beverage company headquartered in London, England. It is the world's second-largest brewer in terms of revenue (after AB InBev) and a major bottler of Coca-Cola. Its brands include Fosters, Miller, and Pilsner Urquell. It has operations in 80 countries worldwide.                                                                     

After examining the proposed merger transaction, the AMC concluded that implementation does not pose a threat to competition or significantly limit competition on any Ukrainian product market.

Sayenko Kharenko's competition team for the transaction included counsel Maksym Nazarenko and associate Julia Kuyda, and was led by partner Vladimir Sayenko.

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