AB May Lose Distrib. in IL

From the Chicago Tribune;

Anheuser-Busch Cos.’ attempt to gain more control over its distribution in Illinois has taken a twist that could burn the beer giant.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is considering whether Anheuser-Busch should have to divest its 30 percent ownership of Chicago-based City Beverage, one of the country’s largest beer wholesalers, which distributes Budweiser products in the Chicago area.

Anheuser-Busch last year tried to buy the 70 percent of City Beverage it didn’t already own to improve its sales and profitability in the Chicago area, where it is No. 2 in market share behind MillerCoors LLC. Ironically, that potential transaction set off a chain of events that could force Anheuser-Busch out of the distribution business in Illinois.

Anheuser-Busch blames competitors for instigating a regulatory review of its minority interest in a distributor when none was called for.

Full story here.