BELGIAN brewing giant AB InBev has announced plans to cut around 576 jobs from SABMiller’s UK operations following the completion of the £79bn (US$104bn) merger.
AB InBev set out its corporate structure following the merger, announcing it would keep SABMiller’s Woking, UK office open for a transitional period. SABMiller employs over 520 people in Woking and over 50 in its London office. AB InBev said SABMiller’s headquarters would transfer to AB InBev’s headquarters in Leuven, Belgium.
“We can confirm … SABMiller’s existing UK locations will be significantly impacted after the combination completes,” said AB InBev.
The completion of the merger will leave AB InBev controlling around 30% of the world’s beer. SABMiller will retain only one senior executive out of 20 on the new company’s board. AB InBev will take the rest.
After receiving regulatory approvals from major worldwide markets, including in May the EU, SABMiller’s board formally accepted a sweetened takeover bid in July after the UK currency took a downturn after June’s referendum voted to leave the EU. In order to gain regulatory approval, SABMiller announced it would sell popular brands Peroni and Grolsch to Japanese brewer Asahi for €2.6bn (US$2.9bn) in February.
SABMiller’s shareholders are still to vote on the deal later this month. The BBC reports shareholder Aberdeen Asset Management is to vote against the merger, saying it was “uncomfortable” with the proposed structure.
AB InBev's own UK subsidiary which brews Stella Artois and Corona will remain unaffected.
AB InBev hopes to have the merger complete by 10 October.
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