Brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and SABMiller have been given permission to merge by South Africa’s Competition Tribunal.
The two beer makers were anticipating savings of £1.4bn as a result of the deal, which included commitments to local production, support for small suppliers and black empowerment.
Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, said: “We are delighted by the Competition Tribunal’s decision to approve our proposed combination with SABMiller in South Africa, a market that would play a critical role in the combined company.
“We recognise South African Breweries’ important contribution to the country’s economy and society and look forward to building on this through the commitments we have made on jobs and employment, localisation of inputs and production, support for small suppliers and the promotion of black economic empowerment.”
Approval has now been granted in 16 jurisdictions, including the EU.
Meanwhile, SABMiller’s merger of its non-alcoholic drinks operation with the Coca-Cola Company and Gutsche Family Investments has also gained approval from South Africa’s Competition Tribunal, creating Africa’s largest soft drinks bottling operation.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) will distribute 40% of Coke volumes in Africa and is the 10th largest Coke bottler worldwide. It will ultimately serve 14 countries.
Doug Jackson, CEO at CCBA, said: “The creation of CCBA will provide a stronger, more successful Coca-Cola system in Africa and create greater shared value for the business and the communities we serve across the value-chain, including local suppliers and retailers.”