SABMiller has revealed it is likely to sell London brewer Meantime, a mere six months after purchasing it.
The revelation follows news that leading SABMiller brands Peroni and Grolsch would also have to be sold to satisfy competition rules surrounding the company’s imminent £70bn purchase by brewing giant rival AB InBev.
SABMiller said it had been informed by AB InBev of its intention to explore the sale of a number of SABMiller’s European premium brands in line with its commitment to ‘promptly and proactively address potential regulatory considerations’, with Meantime on the chopping block.
Alan Clark, chief executive of SABMiller said: ‘Under SABMiller’s stewardship, Peroni and Grolsch have become world-renowned premium beer brands. Meantime has been a welcome addition to SABMiller and has a growing and loyal fan base.
‘These beers are loved by consumers and we are very proud of them. Until the change of control we will continue to invest in growing these great beers and supporting our talented people who brew, sell and manage them.’
Any sale would be conditional upon completion of the AB InBev acquisition of SABMiller and would be subject to appropriate engagement with stakeholders, including employee representative bodies such as unions and works councils, it said.
Meantime was bought by SABMiller in May for an estimated £50m as part of a strategic move to tap into the craft beer scene. It was founded in 1999 by brewer Alastair Hook.