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Argentina: AB InBev, CCU trade beer brands over antitrust concerns

 |  September 11, 2017

Chilean brewer CCU, which brews Schneider and Heineken for the Argentine market, has given the Belgian company AB InBev, which owns market leader, Quilmes, a license to manufacture and distribute the Budweiser brand in Argentina, giving the beer behemoth full control of all Budweiser brands across the globe.

CCU has held the license to market Budweiser in Argentina since 2008, which is set to expire in 2025. In addition to being one of the most popular brands in the world, Budweiser was the company’s flagship, since its sales placed Argentina as the group’s top market.

In exchange for the Budweiser license, AB InBev ceded to CCU the Isenbeck, Iguana, Goddess, North and Baltic brands, and paid the equivalent of US$306 million.

In addition, in discarding Isenbeck, AB InBev may have avoided problems with the National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC), since keeping it in its fold would have given the multinational an 85% share of the beer market. The transaction is subject to prior approval by the CNDC.

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